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. jamesyoungmvp

    Why is this mayor on TV when his city is in turmoil? he should be working to help the people regardless of what the governor said previously. Spend your energy being mayor not complaining on a new show

    October 31, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  2. Malory Archer


    Hurrican Sandy is Obama's Katrina. There is no Help from Federal Govt four days aftermath. Obama is a Weak Leader Period.


    Except it's been only 36 hours since the storm made landfall. And help is on the way. Dude, you lie even worse than the guy whose attempting to challenge President Obama for the job.

    October 31, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. cj

    So lets assume that the evacuation was given and both men are right. What does the mayor do when asked where people can go that "do not have the resources to leave". Especially the homeless. Its easy for someone to say leave now or kiss your hynee goodbye if things get bad. Some I am sure chose not to leave out of stubborness. But theres always going to be those that cannot leave because they simply cant. Stop being so critical ppl.

    October 31, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  4. SaintM

    PeterD: I suppose you think you would handle the situation better than President Obama?

    Sandy is NOT Obama's Katrina. Katrina was GW Bush's Katrina. Obama is demlonstrating the difference between himself–a good, compassionate, intelligent president that makes good choices, and the bad, stupid, clueless buffoon George W. Bush was on handling Katrina.

    Meanwhile Mitt Romney presidential wanna be is following in GW Bush's footsteps, but added further insult by having his campaign buy $5,000 of food at a Wall Mart to inspire others to help out in the same way, which has turned into a very public debaucle because American Red Cross can't use the items. Mitt is so stupid, he doesn't even think of asking what is needed–he just assumes he knows best. I can't wait to read the post-mortems on the failed Romney campaign when he is handed his head by President Obama next Tuesday.

    October 31, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  5. ronvan

    First of all my thoughts and prayers for all those affected. NOW, how is M. R. going to "filp flop, change" his statement on eliminating FEMA? YES, FEMA has screwed up in the past, on some occasions, BUT it appears they are on top of this one.

    October 31, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  6. tp1776

    I support President Obama for reelection, but I wish the media would stop broadcasting Governor Christie's comments about the President. The help and support Obama is pushing should be completely non-political; it is totally unnecessary to repeat Christie's comments, this is a recovery period for all.

    October 31, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. George Kasica

    PeterD – What are you on? No help? There are thousands of National Guard, Military, Red Cross, FEMA, Coast Guard and who know who else out there since BEFORE landfall. There have been recovert items prestaged and now being distributed.

    As for NJ Gov. Christie – I'm more of a Domocratic voter most of the time hence I don't agree with most Republicans – however I've seen this man on TV, news, etc. and he's doing the right thing – leave politics out of this – these folks need help not speeches. If je was running for POTUS vs. Obama I'd honestly have a tough choice to make. I don't agree with everything anyone says but his attitude of "lets get the job done" vs. partisa bickering is quite refershing. Mitt should take note – making this into politics is NOT a good idea,

    October 31, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  8. Vote 2012

    Heaven help us all, my thought and prayers to all of the victims, it doesn't matter what race, creed color, political party, or class. Unfortunately it took another natural disaster for this nation to come together. This a another wake up call to the Nation. During his inaaguration speech President Obama quoted biblical scripture-I'm paraphrasing, It's time to put aside the childish ways in politics and focus on why you were voted into office, work on bi-partisan level and dissolve special interest, to serve the people which is why you were voted into office not personal gain for yourselves or special interest groups. President also damn near begged and pleaded with the party of no to pass the jobs bill to create infrastructure jobs to build our roads and bridges, hire more teacher, policeman, fireman etc. They didn't listen, President Obama was right about all of the above, it's very sad that people had to parish, lives and homes destroyed, some of this could have been avoided had the party of no agreed to pass the jobs bill act.

    October 31, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. Wake up People!

    So what is your response to the ex head of Fema that said President Obama responded too quickly????

    October 31, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  10. tp1776

    having posted that Christie's comments should not be aired and aired again, I wonder how long before Republicans subtly or openly begin to criticize Christie for his praise of Obama?

    October 31, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  11. marg

    NJ governor Chris Christie told people dwelling in low-lying areas to evacuate therefore regardless of what AC mayor said those people should have followed the governor's request. Remember Pres. Obama have already declared NJ as a state of an EMERGENCY. Key word is EMERGENCY so the mayor of AC not only went against the governor request but ALSO the President of the UNITED STATES. When the death toll count from this storm is finally totalled, if there are any from AC I wonder if the mayor of AC will have a clear conscious.

    October 31, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  12. Vote 2012

    As Mayor you send out all necessary warnings but cannot force people to leave if they choose not to leave, those left behind almost always are the ones who will parish. I recall hearing Governor Christi call out the "hard headed ones" that chose not to leave, there are hard headed ones everywhere, refusing to leave but want to blame the politicians because they lost everything including some lives.

    October 31, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  13. dc

    If people won't heed the evacuation orders, they should be left to die. That's the only way they'll learn. – Republicans

    October 31, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  14. Clarke

    Mitt, helping people is a good thing, but I can't help but wonder, if he were not running for President, would he have done the same thing. Most people help because they want to, and don't need media press for the help they give. They do it from the heart. I can't help but question his motives. IMHO.

    October 31, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  15. Vote 2012

    How and where do you begin to round up the homeless in any city or town during an emergency evacuation, how do you know who and where they are, homeless people are scattered all over. The whole situation is sad for everyone that had to go through this. This is no time to start finger pointing.

    October 31, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  16. GOP = Greed Over People!

    First of all, both these "men" are acting like children.

    Work together, and help the people you were elected to serve, and then sue in civil court like normal adults!

    October 31, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. moakley

    Why is Christie looking to spend political capital on a natural disaster of this magnitude. Is cooperating with local leaders, democrats, so repulsive to him that mere thought of doing so produces an automatic surge of bile to his mouth. If he is not going to help, then maybe he should just find the nearest buffet to suppress his non-useful urges.

    October 31, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  18. Paul_I

    Christie does not care if he wrongly accused the mayor of encouraging people to stay in shelters. Christie knows that voters will remember that he was "decisive" and "looking out for his fellow citizens", and that the mayor will be remembered for being "criticized by the governor". Such is the state of politics where the saying anything is more important than the truth.

    October 31, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  19. Sam

    I just hope GOPer and Democrats don't try to politicize and take advantage of this disaster.

    I have a feeling that Romney will now flip flop and say FEMA is the priority number #1. He will never cut federal funding for FEMA. 😛

    October 31, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  20. Clarke

    There are always going to be people who will not listen. So the Mayor offered a safe haven for them anyway. This should not be an issue, at this time or another. It turned out okay as far as human life goes. Let's not make this a political party thing.

    October 31, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. Vote 2012

    lThis is no time to be discussing Mitt Romney, this disaster is way out of his league just like foreign policy, he's not the Mayor, Governor or President. There's disaster no place for Mitt Romney, anyway he wanted to get rid of FEMA, anything that has to do with jobs in America he wants to get rid of. Now if you're talking about China this would be the blog to discuss Mitt Romney but not the natural disaster that hit the East Coast.

    October 31, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  22. Jane Smith

    Even the fiercest republican, Chris Christie in New Jersey was praising al the help the Obama administration has provided to thsoe affected in NJ for Sandy. Obama is a real leader, not like the fake math, rape re-defining team of Romney and Ryan.

    October 31, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  23. chupacabra

    Whats with this guy "peter d"..and his four days after..I thought it just happened yesterday.I know I havent been asleep for three days...O well........Obama/Biden 2012.....I've done cast my vote in early voting and there it is!

    October 31, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  24. High Way

    Whats Mitt up to? Campaigning in Florida while Obama is busy taking care of the devestated states? Mitt has no principles or conscience. Opportunistic as usual and self serving. Its all about him and not the american people. I hope the voters open their eyes, see the real man he is and decide to vote for Obama.

    October 31, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Malory Archer


    Hurrican Sandy is Obama's Katrina. There is no Help from Federal Govt four days aftermath. Obama is a Weak Leader Period.


    Except it's been only 36 hours since the storm made landfall. And help is on the way. Dude, you lie even worse than the guy whose attempting to challenge President Obama for the job.
    Let me build on what Malory said: HELP WAS ALREADY IN PLACE B-E-F-O-R-E the storm. Got that? THAT"S leadership.

    October 31, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
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