TRENTON – Bipartisanship was the theme for the night.
Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic state senator and Union City Mayor Brian Stack sat side-by-side Thursday evening as they took calls from Hudson County and Union City residents in a tele-town hall meeting.
Christie, no stranger to town halls, changed the script slightly as he and the Democratic mayor took questions from residents who received automated calls inviting them to ask their governor and local representative their questions.
But unlike Christie’s usual town halls, Thursday’s campaign event centered on one central theme: Bipartisanship.
“This should be an example to our entire country,” said Christie during the opening of the phone call, announcing that more than 8,700 residents were listening on the line.
“Leadership is about getting things done and not going backwards to the day partisanship dominated our state,” he said. “I want to thank Brian for his friendship and his partnership.”
The pair fielded a number of questions focused on local topics and a handful of state topics before one resident asked the question both seemed ready to jump on.
What are your thoughts governor, the caller asked, about the government shutdown and dysfunction in Washington, D.C.?
Christie didn’t skip a beat.
“It is a failure of government for government to shut down,” said Christie, declaring “it’s the failure of both parties” that led to the federal government being forced to shut down non-essential services.
“It makes no sense of what’s going on down there and everybody’s to blame,” he said. “We knew this has been coming for months, we knew this day was coming and we should have sat down together – Republicans and Democrats.”
“It’s not about Republican. It’s not about Democrat,” he said.
Christie’s campaign said invitations to join the phone call were pushed out to about 50,000 households. Reporters were invited to listen to the tele-town hall at Republican State Committee headquarters in Trenton.
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"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi- The Daily Beast
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