Buono, Christie Energized by Endorsements

By Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron
NJ Today

About 300 people turned out on a holiday Monday morning at a Foodtown in Port Monmouth to see Gov. Chris Christie get endorsed by the New Jersey Food Council.

“Today we come together to support a man who is a role model of our bipartisan philosophy and who understands the importance of working across the aisle to get things done,” said Richard Saker of the New Jersey Food Council PAC.

Made up of supermarkets and convenience stores, this particular trade association hasn’t endorsed in a gubernatorial election in 24 years.

“It doesn’t happen often. They don’t endorse all the time. And I’m honored and privileged that, as Richard said, a diverse group of business owners — Republicans, Democrats and Independents — have all come together to endorse me in this election and it’s really a great honor,” Christie said.

Yesterday, The Washington Times reported that Christie told a group of Latino supporters Saturday that he has changed his view on in-state tuition for the children of illegal immigrants, the so-called Dream Act, and now supports it. His campaign would not confirm that he said it, and neither would the governor.

About 75 to 100 Barbara Buono workers and supporters turned out at her campaign headquarters in New Brunswick this afternoon to see Florida Congresswoman and Democratic National Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz support their candidate and take a few shots at Christie.

“What this election is really about, and when you’re a governor and you’re running for reelection, the voters need to let you know what they think of your management skills. What Chris Christie’s been really good at is managing his brand.That’s going really, really well apparently,” Wasserman Schultz said.

Buono urged supporters not to underestimate her campaign and told reporters she was aware of Christie’s new position on the Dream Act.

“Yeah, I saw something that said he’ll do it in lame duck. That’s a lame promise. If he does, that’s great. But if he goes back on his word and reverts to his previous position, then I’ll sign it in January,” Buono said.

“Republican leaders like Chris Christie, like Mitt Romney, have a tendency to say one thing in public and say quite another thing behind closed doors,” Wasserman Schultz said.

It’s no surprise that a business group would endorse the governor or that the chair of the Democratic Party would endorse Buono, but both seemed to derive energy from the events with 22 left before their election.