October 30th, 2012
06:38 PM ET
1 year ago

Jersey joust: Atlantic City mayor hits back at Gov. Christie

(CNN) – Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford on Tuesday swung back at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's recent jabs suggesting the mayor failed to enforce state-issued evacuation orders ahead of Superstorm Sandy.

"The governor is just wrong–he's dead wrong," Langford said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

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During a press conference Monday, Christie argued the mayor was not getting people out of the Jersey shore town. Tuesday morning, he slightly walked back his comments, saying the mayor was "sending a mixed message."

"He told folks that they could shelter as a last resort in the city of Atlantic City. A number of people chose to do so. That was the wrong thing to do," the Republican governor said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."

Langford, however, took issue with Christie's characterization of the mayor's directions. The Democratic mayor said he held two press conferences and put out press releases in the days before the storm, urging residents to leave.

"Despite our best efforts to have 100% of our people heed that message, sometimes you're always going to have those, who for whatever reason, decide not to heed the message," he said. "We thought it would be prudent to have a shelter of last resort for those people who did not listen."

While New Jersey bore the brunt of the storm and Atlantic City especially suffered extensive physical damage, Langford said he was "happy to report" that "on the human side, all is well."

The mayor added he hadn't spoken with Christie about the recent spat.

"I think it is the governor's responsibility to call me. He's the one that put out the misinformation. He made a mistake. And he ought to be man enough to own up to it," Langford said.

In 2010, Christie pushed for a state takeover of some of Atlantic City's gambling and tourism industries–an agreement that was ultimately reached in October of that year.

Tonight at 9 p.m. ET on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie discusses Superstorm Sandy’s impact on the state.


Filed under: 2012 • Chris Christie • New Jersey
soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. PhllyPhan

    President Obama is totally on top of this disaster. He suspended all campaigning to survey the damage and send required help where needed. His response is 100% better than Bush's was during Katrina.

    October 31, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I see CNN likes to air and promote the rablle-rousing negative stories.
    Why don't you step up to the plate and promote something positive CNN amidst all of the devastation?
    Why don't you inform your readers of how President Obama had FEMA on the ground in New Jersey PRIOR to Sandy making landfall? Why don't you tell your readers that FEMA had been given instrucitons, and continues to be reminded by our President to get the job done and not let the bureaucracy stand in their way? To assist the governors of the affected areas in any way the governors saw fit?
    Lastly, CNN, why not give coverage to an occurrence that the GOP has gone out of their way to prevent from happenning even at the expense of our country: the spirit of bi-partisanship. Gov. Christie's EFFUSIVE, and SUPERLATIVE praise for the President vis-a-vis how the President has handled this disaster deserves AMPLE coverage. Do you not think that your readers thirst for this type of story, or is it more important for you to kowtow to the latest Romney fake storyline of him being the only one capable of bringing about bipartisanship in DC?
    Shame on you CNN.
    The eastern seaboard has been devastated. People are hurting. A feel good story about our leaders might not mean much in advertising revenue to you but it would mean the world to those who are looking for a glimmer of hope in the midst of great and unprecedented losses.
    Step up and move FORWARD!

    October 31, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. Malory Archer

    demwit, what is a cholcate city?

    October 31, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  4. BOBBY VEE

    Rumour has it that The Donald is withdrawing his offer to the President and donating $5million to the Red Cross
    relief effort in the name of Trump Palace on the boardwalk. I mean the guy is huge!!!!

    October 31, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. jim blencowe

    All Obamba is doing is campaigning by visiting the disaster areas.

    October 31, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. tuscany590

    Philly: It's about time obama did his job..Bush didn't mess up Katrina, it was Blanco & Nagan, 2 democrats.

    October 31, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. Sean

    When buses were sent to the shelter to evacuate everyone, the leaders of the shelter turned everyone away saying the mayor said we could stay here.

    17 buses turned away in total...it's the mayors fault for giving people a false sense of safety.

    October 31, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. Jimh77

    Let the sea have Jersey Shore, Just bull doze it flat and move inland. The Mayor is wrong also. He should have evacuated everyone inland.

    October 31, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. some chick

    Gov. Christie and President Obama BOTH want the best for the storm victims.
    Pulling together , uniting, and pitching in is the American Way. Its how we roll.
    Katrina was a disaster and the aftermath was a disaster. Its all in the leadership,
    Gov.Christie and President Obama have proven that.

    Keep up the great work , we are with you

    October 31, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  10. zandhcats

    People who chose to stay in their home should take the blame. I watched NBC last night, a man said he was regret not to listen to the warning to leave their home.

    October 31, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. dsangiovanni

    Hey Gov. Christie, Obama found USA after huracan Bush same as you have your NJ now. How long do you think you are going to have NJ back on track ????? Sure you don't want any bail-out, do you??

    October 31, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. Susan

    A lot of comments here from the peanut gallery, likely folks who don't even live near New Jersey. The fact is, the city of Atlantic City is about as corrupt as it gets. With so much money awash in the city's coffers for so many decades, it's truly astounding that any place could have the record number of homeless and destitute that AC has–and that is all on the mayor (and his predecessors). Quit the unproductive comments about Christie and focus on the real message here. Why couldn't those folks get out?

    October 31, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  13. Larry in Houston

    @ Dominican mama 4 Obama – - – - I like your posts – and I also agree with them .
    I've already Voted – - Straight Ticket here – -
    Waiting on The election Returns – - on tuesday

    October 31, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  14. Cedar Rapids

    "jim blencowe

    All Obamba is doing is campaigning by visiting the disaster areas"

    damned if he does, damned if he doesnt with you isnt it?

    October 31, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. hmmmm.....

    No Obama has NEVER been able to lead a bi-partisan in the last 4 years. He has no plan to save the country's future. This storm although large and destructive, was no Katrina – was only a cat 1, and after Katrina people pay attention to evacuating. I do not know of anything this Prsident did except tie up relief efforts with his onterage going out for a photo op. Remember Johnson in a boat in NO saying "your Country is here for you" – easy to go in after it's all dry and the powers back on.

    October 31, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  16. William

    Ha when does a governor call a mayor for anything? The message should have been uniform trough out the threat theater. If individuals chose to stay in there homes that was fine. However the mayors choice to assemble a mass of people in a shelter thus created an institutional requirement that now automatically put the government of NJ as liable for the lives of these individuals. Among all other things taking place. The mayor has command of the police force of his city and should have used them to enforce the evacuation.

    October 31, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  17. Seriously

    Cant wait for the first disaster to strike after Romney gets elected. People are going to remember the Bush years (that they should never have forgotten) REAL fast.

    October 31, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  18. LIP

    It's the same thing that happened with Katrina. CNN and all the liberal media focused on the Mayor and the governor and all the finger pointing and then the Democrats used a disaster to trash FEMA and the President, as if he had anything to do with Katrina picking that spot to casue havoc. FEMA has always been a huge beuracracy and still is and Romney's idea to downsize and turn over the aid to the states and let them handle the disasters is a brilliant move. You wouldn't believe how many FEMA employees there are digging in our wallets while they travel the country, running up huge bills while they put out little tiny fires while they line their pockets with our hard earned money.

    October 31, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. Travis

    @ Dominican mama 4 Obama
    A feel good story about our leaders? Do you honestly think someone who just had their home destroyed, or realizing that a loved one is gone, cares anything about our leaders? No, they don't. They need help and assistance, first and foremost. That is the only thing on their mind. Why not think about that before you go on your next pro-Obama / anti-Romney rant.

    October 31, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  20. jack 3

    Christy is really brainless. It was nice for him to say something nice about Obama, he says it's not about politics but he should be smart enough to know that the democrats will use it as politics against the republicans. Glad Christie's not running.

    October 31, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  21. Kevin

    PhllyPhan. Obama is on top of this because Christie in NJ has everything under control and Bloomberg asked him not to come to NYC. Give me a break! Sandy was no Katrina...not even close. Obama circles this disaster like a vulture on carrion, waiting for the opportunity to read a teleprompter and take sole credit for fixing everything and deflecting the storm. Your bias is galling!

    October 31, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  22. Kevin

    Blanco and Nagin did more damage than Hurricane Katrina; Blanco got turned out of office and Nagin is under investigation. Blanco and Nagin are Democrats. Keep blaming GWB, but you don't have the facts straight. Nagin, like Obama, tried to deflect from poor performance, by race baiting. Remember his "Chocolate City" comments? Those of us who live here do...indeed we do.

    October 31, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  23. sanfa

    Chris Christie is going to vote for Pres. Obama.

    October 31, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  24. whyme4

    Atlantic City needs Nucky Thompson more than ever. The last Republican that knew how to get things done.

    October 31, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  25. Independent

    @Cedar Rapids.....I would say the exact same thing about Romney.....does not matter what he does you will find a flaw in it!!!!! Sounds like he did the EXACT same thing meeting with FEMA and you all jumped on him for campaigning!!! Difference is Obama is just doing his JOB, Romney is trying to help even though he has no obligation to!!!

    October 31, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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