In his first commercial of the general election, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) casts himself as a bipartisan leader who has accomplished what people said couldn't be done.
In the 30-second spot, which started airing on Thursday, Christie touts his work to enact the state's 2 percent property tax cap and on the state budget, education funding and the economy, along with a passing reference to his relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The ad is part of a $1.5 million, 10-day buy in the New York and Philadelphia media markets, PolitickerNJ.com reported. Christie has consistently led Democratic nominee Barbara Buono, a Middlesex County state senator, by more than 20 points in the polls all year.
Christie's commercial emphasizes a bipartisan approach. All year, Christie has touted an ability to work with leaders in the Democratic-controlled state legislature, and told the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce in January that the federal government can learn from the Garden State. To date, Christie has been backed by 48 Democratic elected officials in his reelection campaign.
Christie also uses the spot to define his record in the economic and education arenas. Buono and Democrats have hammered Christie on his economic record, noting the state's high unemployment rate. In the commercial, Christie says he has created 140,000 private sector jobs in the state and allocated "the most education funding ever." Christie's increases in school funding, however, came after a 2010 budget in which he slashed state aid to local school districts by between 75 percent and 100 percent per district. The aid cuts, part of a larger move to balance the state budget, were described as "draconian" by local school leaders.
At the end of the ad, Christie touches on his leadership during and after Hurricanes Sandy and Irene, but does not go into detail. Rather the ad says that the governor was there "every step of the way" while showing storm footage.