Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey with an out-sized reputation and possible White House ambitions, has made it clear his re-election campaign was framed by on one thing: Hurricane Sandy.
And the one-year anniversary of the super-storm that smashed the Jersey Shore is framing the last week of a lopsided campaign in which he’s cruising to a second term.
Christie was spending the day today on a nine-stop tour of the state that took him to areas hardest hit by a storm that killed 38 people, damaged 346,000 homes and left more than seven million people without power after it came ashore near Atlantic City.
While the stops weren’t listed as campaign events, they played to one of Christie’s strongest points, his response to the storm. In a recent Rutgers-Eagleton poll, 85 percent of those surveyed said they approve of how the governor handled the storm. Eagleton showed Christie holding a 26-percentage point lead over Democrat Barbara Buono.
Christie and his running mate will start a 90-stop bus tour tomorrow to close out the election. They’ll appear in all 21 counties of the Garden State.
“As long as I have the honor and the privilege of being the governor of this state, it’s my mission to get the state back to where it was and better, and I’m not going to let anyone or anything — any politician — get in between me and the completion of that mission,” Christie told about 150 people in a church parking lot in Moonachie. “That’s what you hired me to do and that’s what I’ll continue to do as long as you keep me on the job. But I can’t do it alone and need all of your help.”
The announcement took place in the shadow of MetLife stadium, which will host the National Football League’s Super Bowl in February. Christie was joined at the announcement by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New York Jets owner Woody Johnson during the appearance. The NFL and Super Bowl host committee have donated $2 million to Sandy relief efforts.
“A job is something we do to support our families and hopefully we find success in our careers and hopefully we find fulfillment in our careers, but they’re jobs and a mission is something different: it’s sacred,” he also told a crowd of volunteers and supporters.