September 1st, 2009
01:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Kean comes to Christie's defense in New Jersey race

[cnn-photo-caption image=
caption="Former New Jersey governor Tom Kean accused Corzine of sullying the race with character attacks."]

(CNN) - Republican Chris Christie enlisted popular former New Jersey governor Tom Kean on Tuesday to help shift the dialogue of the race back to the subject Jon Corzine's record as governor and away from questions about Christie's private behavior.

Kean, honorary chairman of the Christie campaign, accused Corzine of sullying the race by launching a salvo of character attacks against the Republican candidate, who still leads in the polls.

"The public doesn't like it, I don't like it," Kean said on a conference call with reporters. "The poll numbers haven't moved."

He may be right: According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday, of the people who have seen Corzine ads criticizing Christie for giving contracts to people with ties to former President George W. Bush, 56 percent say the ads are an unfair attack, while 36 percent say they are a legitimate campaign issue.

Corzine's campaign launched a new ad Tuesday charging that Christie has "one set of rules for himself, another for everyone else."

Christie, a former U.S. attorney, is facing questions about an undisclosed $46,000 loan to a former aide, and revelations about a spotty driving history.

Last week, a Corzine spokeswoman called Christie "a complete menace to society on the highways of New Jersey" after the state's Motor Vehicle Commission released documents revealing he had racked up 13 moving violations over the last two and a half decades.

Kean dismissed the traffic tickets as an issue, saying that "both candidates have speeded from time to time, that's something both of them regret."

Christie earned seven speeding tickets and six more for traffic accidents going back to 1985. Corzine only received three going back to 1992, two for speeding and a third ticket for failing to wear a seat belt in the car accident that nearly killed him in 2007.

Kean said "voters are not going to be served well" by a campaign featuring "millions on negative advertising." Although Kean said he didn't believe the Christie campaign had been negative so far, he left the door open for Christie to retaliate against Corzine as needed.

Still, Kean - who served as governor from 1982 to 1990 and later co-chaired the 9/11 Commission - set a high bar for the remainder of the campaign.

"I don't think I ever ran a negative ad when I was running for office," he said.

Filed under: Chris Christie • Jon Corzine
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Wheres Waldo,I mean Elrushbo?

    Pot meet kettle,hahaha

    September 1, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  2. TomJay

    With Corzine's record as governor, Corzine has nothing to run on and must resort to attacking his opponent with garbage.

    September 1, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. victim of republican greed

    But Tom. . . ., Christie represents more attacks on our personal freedoms, and is a Bush worshipper. He is not like you.

    September 1, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. Melissa

    Hey, when you claim to be the moral majority, and all hyper Christian, you get called on your behavior. Until you stop behaving like children, we are going to call you on it. Either grow up, or deal with it.

    Republicans... can't live with them... because they just make you want to smack the arrogance from them.

    September 1, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. Roger

    The Honorary Chairman of his campaign, yea thats a unbiased opinion we can trust.

    September 1, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. yuri

    Again, may the best candidate, who comes out unscathed from the vitriolic and vehement vituperations, win.

    September 1, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  7. Moderate Democrat

    Republicans can't stand the truth. Christie is a dirt bag, and the rest of his fellow republicans know it (after all, republicans are dirt bags by's a requirement they have).

    The best way to ensure a corrupt and incompetent government, is to vote for republicans.

    September 1, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. haren

    What is the matter with this stupid New jersey voters?
    look whole country is in recession but new jersey is far better off than other state because of Gov. Corzine.
    I don't trust any Repubilican who has in his closet Karl Rove and Bush.
    New jersey voters wake up it is not rocket science it is always beneficiary to your state if you have governer and prsident of same party. You rip more money from federal govenrment and we need more help.
    And Chrstie is not that great, his track record is same as last 8 years of bush admin.

    September 1, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  9. Jeff in Virginia

    A Republican complaining about character attacks- that's PRICELESS.

    September 1, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. Navy Jack

    the prerequisites for political office include the multi-tasks of being beggars, thieves, borrowers and crooks

    September 1, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. carlos, that one

    kean.......another repugnant, he should stay out of this race.....Gov. Corzine has more credibility than the two together-christie and kean-

    September 1, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  12. GI Joe

    Kean doesn't lie Christie either. They are just two people that believe in their Party before the People. Shame Shame.

    September 1, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  13. Tom

    I find it humorous that a Republican would whine about personal attack ads in a campaign. Where was Kean during the last election cycle? I sure did not see him attcking Palin and McCain for their liablous and slanderous attack ads. Another example of Republicans not being able to take what they dish out. Whata bunch of whiners the party of NO has become.

    September 1, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  14. Jay T.

    He is absolutely right. It is a desperate campaign strategy.

    The reason not to vote for Christie is he only has the interests of his wealthy buddies in mind- like his buddy W. Bushie. The problem for Corzine is Corzine probably does, too. If he doesn't, he has done an atrocious job of proving otherwise.

    September 1, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. Sharon

    She was giving contracts to the Bush cronies!!! Why do you think that she needs Kaine to intervene before some of the honest reporters look for the truth. It's funny how the Republicans can drag everyone including children through the mud to stay in office, but when the Democrats say anything, they are running a dirty campaign.

    Surely New Jersey knows that if they elect a Republican, everyone but the rich and big business will be screwed. And no one but the rich and big business will have a chance at any type of affordable healthcare. I lived in N.J. once and I don't say this lightly.

    September 1, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  16. Jefe

    Seriously about his driving problems (not even DUI-related?). If I was living in New Jersey, that alone would almost make me vote for the Neocon party.

    September 1, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  17. RealityKing

    Charater attackes are a progressively liberal Democrats best, and only, friend..

    September 1, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. Doug, New Jersey

    The race comes down to mindless hate-filled programmed lib-bots/Union libs/Government payroll do nothings, most are like leeches, as they suck the wealth out of those who actually work Vs. the state's residents who actually control their own mind, and have the ability to think objectively.

    However, a simple drive around this state and you see just how many liberals there are here. Corozines accident was karma for the way liberals drive their cars, with a total disregard for human life and complete and absolute narcissism. There are just too many hateful lib idiots for Christie to win. Obama won’t even need to send in the ACORN cronies to fix the election Chicago style.

    September 1, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  19. Cee

    New Jersey DOES NOT NEED another "carpet bagger"

    Christi made out like a bandit the last time he was in a "high" political office. His hand outs to his friends and their friends cost the tax payers tons of money. WHY would any INTELLIGENT VOTER even CONSIDER him? We have the most GREEDY POLITICIANS for a supposibly civilizied nation

    Come on TAXPAYERS, PAY ATTENTION – don't just VOTE – READ and THINK before you cast your VOTE.
    Remember – " we the people " WON the VOTe so WE would have a SAY in how OUR TAX DOLLARS are spent – NOT GIVEN AWAY !

    September 1, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. carlos, that one

    christie tooooooooooooooooo fat for governor and to top it all off: very corrupt

    Let see the swampys come out of their huts in the bayou and spill their hatred, sooooooooooo ignorant and uneducated,

    it will be a tragedy to elect a repugnant as gov. in N.J., Tony Soprano someone said??????

    September 1, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  21. Me

    Corzine simply has nothing positive to say about his performance over the last four years so he obviously is trying to change the subject. All Christie has to do is remind voters that since Corzine took office – every NJ resident pays more sales tax, more property tax, more income tax and more incidental taxes like increased cell phone taxes, increases in home sales taxes, increases in business taxes, and new taxes on income to pay for state funded vacation days. And what does the avergage NJ resident have to show for it? A state governemnt that is corrupt, decreasing home values and a school funding system that costs the averge suburban resident thousands to pay for under pperforming schools in the cities. (Which as failed to improve the city school performance). Corzine should just go away...

    September 1, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  22. Dixon

    I dream of a time when both parties run on their record, rather than dirt they dig up on the person they run against. Both parties do this every day and complain when it happens to them.

    September 1, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    Libs don't like to talk about issues, they are more in to the politics of personal destruction, just as they are trying to destroy the country to make us more like Europe.

    September 1, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  24. Cat401

    I"m voting for Corzine.

    September 1, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  25. They call me "Tater Salad"

    Oh, like the Republicans never, ever attack someone's character to win an election! Give me a break! It seems as though the Republican's have no problem at all with spending all of there time and energy bashing Obama's character EVERYDAY instead of actually doing something productive! Nice try though.

    September 1, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
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