POLITICS & GOVERNMENT

Steve Adubato: Christie is a Different Governor Since Hurricane Sandy Hit

Gov. Chris Christie has been in the news quite a lot recently with his response to Hurricane Sandy, his criticism of Republican John Boehner and his upcoming State of the State address. Steve Adubato sat down with the governor last month to discuss a variety of topics, including the hurricane, the deadly Connecticut school shooting, his relationship with Bruce Springstein and his upbringing. The conversation will air as part of “Conversations at NJPAC with Steve Adubato” Wednesday on NJTV. Adubato spoke with NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider about his conversation with the governor.

Adubato said his conversation with Christie was personal and emotional, touching on a combination of issues and politics that was very interesting and entertaining. He said the governor differs from other politicians because he makes it known when he’s angry. “He kind of looks at you when he thinks you’ve gone in a direction he doesn’t want to,” Adubato said. “It’s fun because a lot of politicians, they won’t show you that. Christie shows you when he’s angry.”

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Christie understands the “communication game,” according to Adubato. “He doesn’t ever say what he doesn’t want to say, doesn’t say it in a way he doesn’t want to say it,” he said of the governor.

Since Hurricane Sandy hit, Adubato said Christie has become more accessible and believes that will come across in his State of the State address. “The hugging, that was very real. The crying, that was very real. The pain, that was very real. The inability to solve people’s problems that were suffering in connection with Sandy, very real,” Adubato said. “It’s a different governor, no doubt about it.”

After Christie criticized Republican House Speaker John Boehner for failing to bring the Hurricane Sandy relief bill up for a vote when he said he would, some were concerned that the move could hurt his potential presidential aspirations in 2016. Adubato said he doesn’t believe Christie thought about how his comments were going play out politically, but that he “went to bat for people in New Jersey” to help get the $60 billion in aid that is needed.

“Boehner screwed him, shafted him, shafted New Jersey and he wasn’t gonna hold back by not saying it. And if people were upset about it, hey look, he wasn’t going to lose sleep about it,” Adubato said. “That’s not a YouTube moment. Frankly that was Christie being Christie and I don’t think he’s worried about 2016. I really don’t.”

Adubato said Christie stands out among politicians because most others “are testing things before they say it.”