EDUCATION

Christie Visits Camden Amid News He Will Head Trump’s Transition Team

By Michael Aron
Chief Political Correspondent

Wearing academic robes, Gov. Chris Christie offered no comment today on being named the head of Donald Trump’s transition team.

An aide said the governor wanted the Trump campaign press release to speak for itself.

It said: “Gov. Christie is an extremely knowledgeable and loyal person with the tools and resources to put together an unparalleled transition team, one that will be prepared to take over the White House when we win in November.”

It’s rare if not unprecedented that a presidential candidate names a transition leader before he’s even won the election.

The governor was in Camden today for two events, the first a graduation of the charter class of the new Cooper Medical School at Rowan University.

Forty-three new medical doctors graduated from the four-year program.

The idea for a South Jersey medical school goes back to 1975 and Brendan Byrne’s administration.

The school finally opened in 2012.

“I want all of you to know how happy I am to be able to stand here and see what was laid out as a grand vision actually come to fruition,” Christie said.

The ceremony was held next door to the medical school at the KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy.

Absent were South Jersey political leader George Norcross and his brother Donald, the congressman.

Their mother Anne Conner Norcross died Saturday morning.

The legislation creating the school is one of their accomplishments.

“Beginning in the 1970s, the Norcross family played a critical role in the dream, vision and creation of a four-year medical school in Camden. Without the efforts of the Norcross family, we would not be here today,” said Dean Paul Katz.

The governor’s second event was at Camden County College.

He was there to promote a program — College Readiness Now — a program that provides remedial help to low-income high school students who intend to enter community college — like Siani Green of Camden.

“I took pre-algebra and algebra classes in that one summer and thank you Chris Christie, I’m sorry Gov. Christie,” Green apologized.

“That’s alright they both work Siani,” he said.

The program is funded by a federal grant of $620,000 a year and can reach 1,000 students a year.

All 19 county and community colleges are involved.

“You know, for so many students they have the innate god given ability but don’t nessicarily — because of their back ground — have the confidence to be able to say I can go to one of these colleges and universities and succeed,” Christie said.

“They gave me success, they gave me a story to tell, that’s why I’m here today,” Green said.

The govenor came and went without taking any questions. Being named transition chief by Donald Trump today is clearly a feather in his cap. Whether it lessens his chance of being Trump’s running mate is a whole other question.