Following the results of the 2013 gubernatorial race, in which Gov. Chris Christie was reelected, former Gov. James Florio told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that he believes Christie will be effective for the next two years until the 2016 presidential election.
Florio said that Christie ran a very good and a very effective campaign and the Hurricane Sandy initiative was very helpful to him.
He said that he does not think that the results surprised Barbara Buono. “I think she knew it was a long shot from the beginning. She deserves some credit for being courageous,” Florio said.
Florio called it a personal victory for Christie and one based on his skills because he was not in step on the big issues. He won based on his style, manner and interacting with people, Florio said.
Florio said that anytime when there is a lot of uncertainty, people look for answers. He said that Christie was clear and loud and was giving the people satisfying answers to these questions.
“Everybody needs structure so the times are right for the skills that the governor has,” Florio said. “People are alienated from the system and they want someone to come and be on their side. It’s offering people an explanation.”
Florio said that the most startling aspect of the election was that the candidates and the media did not talk about the problems that will arise in the next four years, such as budget issues from health care and pension plans. “The pension plan up until this year is costing $1.7 billion and two years from now it will be $5 billion. Who is dealing with these numbers?” Florio asked.
“The problems are coming and someone is going to have to face them. The next four-year period is going to be state of disarray,” Florio said.
When asked how effective he thought Christie will be and if he would finish his term, Florio said, “He will not serve out the term but he can be an effective person for the next two years. But after that I suspect that he will be gone if he runs for president.”