October 30th, 2012
06:38 PM ET
10 years 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. Blitz

    Sounds like Christie had an unrealistic expectation that mandatory evacuation meant everyone will bug out. I don't see how lambasting the mayor to the press helped in anyway, but Christie was obviously freaking out by the look on his face. He put on a good game face, but he appeared to be in shock to me. He should reach out to the mayor to clear the air.

    October 30, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  2. Observer

    I think both of these people have the best interest of the people of New Jersey foremost on their minds and perhaps the media might not want to suggest such foolishness at a time when so many have lost their lives. Shame on cnn for not being more responsible at a time when communities need to be working together to help put peoples lives back together.

    To those that have lost our prayers as a continent go out to you and yours.
    God Bless

    Lucid One

    October 30, 2012 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  3. Debra White

    Christie is just doing what Republican do best, lying and trying to trick others into believing the lies. I bet the repubs feel we need government now! Obama/Biden 2013

    October 30, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  4. Spanglish

    The first response is the Local Authorities, the second responders is the Stare, and finally is the Federal ,If the Local authority frail to warn the residents, don not blame the State or the Feds, period

    October 30, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  5. freddie nerk

    Christie is a hypocrit-Obama should make him beg for Federal funds.

    October 30, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  6. daniel

    Chris has earned my admiration and of all Democrats by being honest in the interview asked by Fox and CNN with the way our President handled the Sandy crisis. It is a good lesson for those who doesn't vote for Obama because he is so happen to be Black, judge him only with the way he handel the office in his first tenure as our President. Get out of darkness!

    October 30, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  7. Asoka Rajapaksa

    Dear Governer, I heard your conversation with the CNN program and I think you are so right! This is not politics like you said, even though your a republican you gave the credit for the demoractics president. And you gave a great example to your state your country and the world.

    October 30, 2012 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  8. kayode oliyide

    Pointing fingers is not appropriate at this time but working together and looking for better future. The worse had come and gone. Resolve the communication problem do not take it personal

    October 30, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  9. Bill from GA

    Calm down. boys. You've got work to do.

    October 31, 2012 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  10. Glen costales

    Please I know im a no1 that no1 wants 2 hear from but the mayor of ac is a good man! U asks how do i know this? He was my boss when he worked in the casino business also when he had a retail sneaker store, so did i & we worked 2gether 4a common goods 4ever 1 involved!! No ego or petty stuff! Please let the truth out , the mayor is no bully or some1 looking 4upward mobility- he is in FACT- a good & just man! Thk u Glen Costales

    October 31, 2012 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  11. cj

    Although I feel christie is correct in not politicising this disaster. I also feel now is the wrong time for pointing fingers. I have to wonder how the governor came to his conclusion. Christie is the governor of new jersey, and should be coordinating efforts in a professional manner.

    October 31, 2012 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  12. cj

    My other concern about this is, if there is poor leadership in the state in question... How can that state recover properly without assistance @ the federal level? If there was no fema currently... How would recovery be implemented if the governor wont talk to certain people he doesnt like? This feeds right into states rights and republican ideology of limited leadership.. Er I mean government.

    October 31, 2012 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  13. bert

    Stop. fussing and get our light's on ok

    October 31, 2012 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
  14. Name me

    I think the Governir has a valid point but as Governor he should stop sounding like a bully. If the Governor wants respect he should have taken his strongest dislike of the handling of Mayor out of media and made a call(s) and Walt with it like a mature leader not a bulky. Right or wrong the Gjvernir is always critiquing in the wrong forum and with such inappropriate anger. He sounds like a spoiled over grown kid. He started the media fight and now he should be a mature leader and stop it. Apologigues need to take place and move on with business. The residents of nj don't need this nonsense. Grow up and move on!

    October 31, 2012 04:51 am at 4:51 am |
  15. MarieMD

    Some people just don't evacuate. Not sure what happened in NJ but this is the time to unite.

    October 31, 2012 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  16. LizardLance

    Sounds like Snooki needs to come in and take over the political arena in New Jersey.

    October 31, 2012 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  17. mccainin4

    Gov Christie needs to get realistic. He has to understand that government cannot demand the removal peaceful citizens, and this is pure political posturing. Good Government gives choices:

    – Stay or Please Go Now

    – Stay or use our unsafe facilities as a last resort

    – If you're staying, please contact your next-of-kin

    There are other gruesome choices the government offers, but those are meant for the next-of-kin. So, Governor Christie, where did Mayor Lorenzo go wrong?

    October 31, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  18. Rush

    Play nice you two. Your citizens need you.

    October 31, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |

    The schlong swinging contest has begun. Stop pointing fingers and get to work.

    October 31, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  20. DJ

    I am so over Christie, he is such a loud mouth and it is so indicative of this Nation and it values here lately. RESPECT for each other is out the door now. I mean seriously, why is this fat boy going at the Mayor? I mean seriously, he is the Governor and should act like one!! I really hope the folks in NJ vote that fat boy out when his time comes around again!!

    October 31, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  21. Gurgyl

    They were told to evacuate and refused. I do not feel a bit sorry for them. Whatever happens/happened to them, they earned it.

    October 31, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  22. Anonymous

    Why can't they get along in this time of crisis. All this bickering back & forth isn't going to help the citizens of New Jersey, especially, Alantic City. My thoughts & prayers are with everyone in Superstorm Sandy's path.

    October 31, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  23. Wake up People!

    This is ridicuous, this is not the time for he said, she said or pointing fingers. Mother Nature has dealt us one heck of a blow. We need to come together as the United States of America and take care of one another. People need to stop hating and start loving. People are dead and many, many others are hurt and displaced from their homes. Stop the fighting and help those who need help. My heart goes out to all that were affected and their families.

    OBAMA 2012!

    October 31, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  24. JustAGuy

    Lorenzo Langford is wrong. When searching for days-old news stories, youi can see Langford DID offer the option for Atlantic City residents to stay. Now, you can argue against the wisdom of a mandatory evacuation, which is foolish, but in this spat, Langford is wrong!

    October 31, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  25. r. carmichael - atlantic city resident

    Lorenzo Langford is a partisan democrat. He is more concerned about his agenda than folowing "the man" or "big brother." Lorenzo is back-peddling from on his "on-air" statements to the citizens of Atlantic City. If CNN wishes to actually do some journalism, you can review what Langford told the citizens. Christie found out that Langford was telling people to hunker down. Langford does not represent the people at all. Christie is no angel either, but Christie responds to facts.

    October 31, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
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