After last night’s presidential debate which focused on foreign policy, Gov. Chris Christie said he believes Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are in a dead heat with just two weeks left before election day.
Christie says a foreign policy debate has to be judged by a different standard.
“Obviously you expect the president of the United States to be very well prepared in a foreign policy debate. He’s been doing this for the last four years as the commander in chief and as president, and I think he did a fine job last night. I just happen to agree with Gov. Romney’s vision for how we should conduct ourselves in foreign policy more than I agree with the president’s. As a result I thought he won the debate. But I think they both did quite well last night. There were no big mistakes,” Christie said. “That’s why these debates I think are so important, I said that right from the beginning. They’re unfiltered. You get to see these two men sitting next to each other, having to answer questions, engage in conversation with each other. You learn a lot about them.”
What impact did the debate have on the race? “I don’t think last night probably had any impact on the race because I think they both did well,” Christie said.
And where does he think the race stands? “The state of the race right now? I think it’s a dead-even dogfight. It’s exactly what I I thought it would be,” said Christie.
Christie’s comments on the debate came in New Brunswick during a visit to the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation. The Governor’s Office announced this morning $19 million in state grants to 54 organizations that work with people with HIV or AIDS.
“To me, very analogous to the work that we’re trying to do on drug rehabilitation in the state, being very aggressive about saying that every life is precious, everyone deserves a second chance and that no one is beyond salvation,” the governor said.
Christie was also asked about his nomination of former Monmouth County Sheriff Joseph Oxley to the Superior Court bench. Sen. Raymond Lesniak wants to see the FBI file on Oxley because high level informant Solomon Dwek alleged he had a relationship with Oxley. The FBI won’t release the file and Christie understands why.
“As someone who has read over the course of my career a lot of raw FBI data from cooperating witnesses, sometimes it can be reliable, sometimes it can be absolute fiction,” Christie said. “And I think it’s unfair to put that type of fiction out into the public stream.”
Christie says his office vetted Oxley and he stands by the nomination.
Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron reports from New Brunswick.