Live-Blogging the Gubernatorial Debate

(As Christie’s lead shrinks, the debate stakes go up. Here we go…. – promoted by Jason Springer)

POST-DEBATE: Thank you everybody. If you missed it, you can catch up on the meat and potatoes by reading Jason’s excellent answer summaries.

POST-DEBATE #2: The debate will be broadcast again at NJN Sunday, Oct. 4 at 12 noon, and 6pm. It will also be archived at,but I’m not sure how fast. – – – Rosi

Meet here at 8:00. See you then.

The debate’s being broadcast live on NJN, and is taking place at their studios in Trenton. It’s also being broadcast live at NJN Public Radio and webcast and archived at – – Rosi

Moderator: Jim Hooker, NJN News Senior Anchor

Panel: Michael Aron (NJN), Bob Ingle (Gannett) & Cynthia Burton (Philadelphia Inquirer)  

Comments (171)

  1. Hopeful

    looking forward to it.

  2. Hopeful

    this might be a good time to remind everyone that if you want to vote by mail, tonight would be a good time to print out the form so you can mail it tomorrow:

  3. ivalentine

    Is the streaming working for anyone else? All I get is a spinning gear.

  4. Jason Springer

    out of the way, it’s time for a debate.

  5. JRB (Post author)

    Don’t be shy. You need to get your face out there.

  6. Jason Springer

    the candidates, identifies the panel and explains the rules.

  7. JRB (Post author)

    Christie’s response?

  8. Hopeful

    In 8 years?  How can that be true?  

  9. Hopeful

    I suddenly imagined he said “which even Blue Jersey has endorsed.”  Oh well, it didn’t happen.

  10. Jason Springer

    It sometimes seems your budget numbers don’t add up. Talks about all the things that don’t make sense.

    Christie goes:  Clear distinction between he and his 2 opponents.  They have made clear that they will raise taxes.  He simply won’t do that.  He’ll go to Trenton and work w the Legislature. Talks about the last 8 years.  

    Corzine gets a rebuttal congratulates Daggett on having a plan.  Governor says he has a record and a plan.  Christie has nothing. No plan is not what being Governor is about.

    Daggett agrees Christie has put forward no plan.  Daggett talks about his plan.

    Christie says Corzine’s plan is to raise taxes. Says Daggett’s plan is to raise taxes

  11. JRB (Post author)

    Corzine looks strong. Daggett looks a little shell-shocked by the klieg lights.

  12. Jason Springer

    says Christie is being vague.  

    Christie says Aron has been in Trenton to long and just doesn’t understand.  

  13. JRB (Post author)

    – Corzine

    – Daggett

    – Aron

    Santa Claus next?

  14. Rosi Efthim

    If you are, a reminder that you need the most current version of flash player. Easy and quick to download.  

  15. Jason Springer

    how to deal with the budget deficit.

    Corzine talks about what they did last year.  Says projections have low expectations for revenues. Corzine mentions economic stimulus funds that Christie would reject he points.  Says we are down 8400 employees and is reducing the size of government.  Will take the steps tha tare necessary, he has a record.  Public has to ask what is the program Christie has.

    Daggett says his proposal for tax cuts will deal with 1/3 of the deficit.  He will freeze spending. Will work with state workers to save their jobs he says.

    Christie says the record is very clear. Says Corzine increased spending 20% and thats what put   us in the hole we’re in.  NJ can no longer afford that type of Governance.

    Corzine says they will make sure to protect the most vulnerable and not turn our back on the future.

  16. JRB (Post author)

    Anybody watch the GOP debates. Christie had this smirk….. he’s on his heels now, boy.

  17. Jason Springer

    the Transportation Trust Fund.  

    Daggett goes first and says the D’s and R’s have broken the trust fund.  Only way to realistically deal with it is additional tolls, increased tolls and gas taxes.

    Christie agrees that D’s and R’s history is not laudable.  Whitman and Corzine made mistakes. Attacks Corzine and Daggett for saying they’d raise taxes, still says nothing about what he’d do or how he’d pay for it.

    Corzine said we have to fix it. You can’t just turn your back on it like Christie said.

    Daggett says Christie it’s easy to criticize when you have no plan.  He’d like the tooth fairy to come too, but you have to face the issues open and honestly.  Until we do that, we’re not gonna be competitive.

  18. JRB (Post author)

    Said he can’t wait around for the “tooth fairy.”

  19. Jason Springer

    asking how much Daggett would raise tax.  He said who wants to raise taxes, but we have crumbling roads, bridges and to many potholes.  Amount to raise is going to be determined as get a better handle on the numbers

  20. Rosi Efthim

    Liar, liar big pants on fire.

  21. Hopeful

    calling out Christie on how is he not cutting mandates while not having mandates. Then he endorsed the policy, but basically showed Christie is lying.

  22. Jason Springer

    asks Christie about what he’d cut from the list of mandated coverages.  

    Christie said he wouldn’t cut mandated coverage.  Said he proposes a plan to say that for those that are uninsured, we should get them some insurance.

    Corzine says he thanks god that Christie’s mom had a mammogram.  He hopes all women have them, thinks the issue should be about whether insurance companies should pay for it.  Fact is that the Star Ledger says mandates that come off of policies would give them the option to drop.

    Daggett says Christie’s quote is no cut of mandates.  If you don’t cut the mandates, how can you make it affordable and reduce premiums.  Daggett says some mandated coverage may not be in policies.  You can’t have no mandates and also reduce premiums.

    Christie says he would not have a plan that would prevent any women from getting a mammogram. Attacks Corzine and says he has run a shameful campaign.

  23. Rosi Efthim

    the ad that Star Ledger said contained facts?

    Okay, Mr. Christie. Gotcha.

  24. Rosi Efthim


  25. ivalentine

    “Isn’t it appropriate that I’m in the middle of these two guys?”


  26. Rosi Efthim

    about it being appropriate he’s “in the middle of these 2 guys.”

  27. Rosi Efthim

    And it’s just to laugh at Christie’s bullshit.

    SMILE, Jon. Clean the floor with this guy.  

  28. Jason Springer

    Corzine first responds to Christie, then says he wouldn’t take it off the table.  Doesn’t intend to raise taxes, but you have to balance the budget.

    Daggett says isn’t it appropriate he’s in the middle of them. Daggett says the last resort is to raise taxes, he’s trying to do tax balances.

    Christie says Governor just wants to scare women. Christie says if Gov says raising taxes is a last resort, thats a resort he’s checking into.  They pan to Corzine in the split screen and he laughs.

    Corzine says Christie doesn’t give any specifics.  Lists some of their accomplishments.

  29. Jason Springer

    Daggett says tax rebate is a sham.  He’s giving a real property tax cut of $2500, which is more than they get under the tax rebate plan. His plan talks about cutting corporate taxes and expands sales tax to cover wider range of services to be paid primarliy by people in upper income brackets.  He says its making the system fairer, more balanced and more competitive.

    Christie says he thinks he heard the Gov cut taxes seriously.  Avg prop tax bill has gone up $1000 and mediam income has dropped.  Calls it the Corzine squeeze.

    Corzine says NJ is one of 5 states that had a median increase in income. Says they’ve increased the property tax rebate for some, expanded senior freeze, provided earned income credit.

    Daggett says he’s getting squeezed in the middle.  Talks more about his plan

  30. Rosi Efthim

    Endomorph, ectomorph, and mesomorph.  

  31. Jason Springer

    where is Christie’s prop tax plan.

    Christie says encourage shared services and consolidation.  There is no silver bullet plan and mentions Corzine 40 in 4 proposal from 4 years ago.  Still doesn’t answer anything.

  32. Hopeful

    why he has no plan.  Plans don’t work anyway.

  33. ivalentine

    Christie snickers when asked whether he plays by his own set of rules.

  34. Hopeful

    certainly is able to get the best lines, “I’m in the middle,” “I don’t care about that,” etc.

  35. Hopeful

    driving the wrong way.  Oops, that he got his.

  36. Rosi Efthim

    Christie plays the Ferriero card.  

  37. Jason Springer

    the 1 set of rules for himself, another for everyone else.

    Says he followed federal laws. Talks about his record as US Attorney. Says there is no 2 sets of rules. Corzine has entertained people with his money and ads, and he’s happy to stand by his record.

    Corzine says it misses the point.  When people talk about all Christie’s issues and then says you want a different example, then there is 1 set of rules for himself and another for others.  Thats not the example you want your Governor laying down.

    Daggett doesnt care about driving records or girlfriends.  We need to talk about specifics and real issues.  Says he’s the only one who has laid out specifics.  Only way to set example is from the top and by the way, his driving record is clean.

    Christie says he agrees with Daggett and doesn’t care about that either. Brings up Ferriero and talks about money Corzine donated to Ferriero and that his co-defendant pled guilty.  Says Corzine enabled corruption with his own personal money.  Corzine gets no follow up.

  38. JRB (Post author)
  39. Jason Springer

    Corzine says pre-school is the single most important reform.  Expanded the number of charter schools. Corzine says he believes in charter schools and options, but need to make sure public schools everywhere are as successful as they are in most places.  Talks about some of the successes of NJ education.

    Daggett says we have to hold people accountable.  Talks about drop out rate in urban areas.

    Christie says once again he agrees with Daggett.  Says 1 out of 10 children that start public school graduate from public high school in camden.  Mentions seniors failing high school exam in Newark.  Says we’re failing our children and Gov is part of bureacracy.

    Corzine says we’re putting more money into early childhood education. Points out Christie calls it babysitting.  Says the issue isn’t our teachers, in fact they’re the best in the country.  We need to stand with them, not criticize.

    Aron asks follow up on recent approvals of charter schools and if Christie deserves credit.  Corzine said he’s been pushing it all along.  

  40. Hopeful

    The Obama admin is pushing them (for better or worse), that’s a much more plausible explanation for approving a bunch and loosening rules.

  41. carolh

    just as I knew he would.  HERE is my response.

    My firsthand, Blue Jersey, blow by blow description of what REALLY happened in the past four years when Jon Corzine fought Boss Joe and supported corruption buster Loretta Weinberg time and again.  

  42. Rosi Efthim

    I don’t understand his answer, except that he says there’s a problem. Sounds like he stumbled in the first part of what he said, then backtracked to more gentle language.

    Reminder to self: Look at the tape, and see where that was going. Because, I just don’t get it.  

  43. Jason Springer

    Daggett goes first and says we can’t afford gov’t we have.

    Christie says that for new employees excluding law enforcement, should have to go to 401k type plan.

    Corzine says for many years D’s and R’s didn’t fund pension system.  Says he’s put more money in the last 4 years than gov’s from the last 4 years behind.  Talks about changes they’ve made to pension system. Corzine says we can make it work if we manage and reform it.

    Daggett agrees that D’s and R’s haven’t done well by the Pension system for a long time.  He says Corzine hasn’t made tough decision w employee union to keep system solvent.

  44. Rosi Efthim

    And a glass of wine. This debate is nervewracking. Catch you on the flip.  

  45. JRB (Post author)

    Christie just said he’s going to start laying off your constituents.

    See ya in 2011!

  46. Jason Springer

    be specific about how to solve states structural deficit.  be specific about cuts and if not tax increases, how do you manage that.

    Christie says we have to manage money better.  Talks about specific examples where he thinks the state has failed.  Talks about not having any more food in space programs.

    Corzine says Christie continues to talk about last 8 years, but he’s only been Governor for 4 years.

    Daggett says $8 billion budget gap is so big, you could fire every state worker and wouldn’t balance.  Says what Christie proposes wouldn’t balance.  His tax cut plan takes care of 1/3 of the problem.  Freezing spending will take care of another 1/3.  Final 1/3 they’ll figure out in the spring.

    Christie says lets talk about the last 4 years then.  Says for every 1 govt employee, there are 21 people in state of NJ.  Says Gov has walked away from concession for political purposes.

    Hooker asks follow up on people saying what Christie says doesn’t add up.  Christie says they’re wrong.

  47. Adam L

    THERE IS NO “FLIGHT”!!!!!!

  48. JRB (Post author)
  49. Jason Springer

    Corzine says some people move out, some move in.  That’s normal turnover, particularly in northeastern states. Talks about expansion of jobs and says once we get through this recession.

    Daggett says unemployment is to high.  We need to make tax system fairer.  Talks about changes he’d have and says Christie’s math doesn’t work.

    Christie compares tax rate in NJ to PA.  Says Gov has to admit his economic policies have not worked and we need to change course.  

    Corzine says Christie and Daggett act like we’re suffering worse than others in this current economic climate.  If we continue to pretend there isn’t an economic crisis.

    Hooker asks follow up about tax rates and people leaving.  Corzine shows examples of people coming in.  Says there are going to be comings and goings.  If we leave up at 10.3%, it would hurt, that’s why it will revert back at end of fiscal year.

  50. JRB (Post author)

    And the long smile, nod and eyebrow raise.

  51. JRB (Post author)
  52. Jason Springer

    Daggett says he thinks its certainly an education issue.  Says he is pro-choice. Says we need better education system and to assist people to go to term and bear a child.

    Christie response.  He says he understands question.  Christie says teach them that sexual activity is not something they should be engaged in. Says we will do it by making family stronger.

    Corzine says Christie and he totally disagree.  Believes strongly in women’s right to choose, prenatal advice and education.  believes abortion should be safe, legal and rare, but that family planning is broadly disseminated.

    Daggett agrees wholeheartedly with Corzine. In the end, a woman should have the right to choose.

  53. Jay Lassiter

    i am sure that’ll work

  54. Hopeful
  55. Hopeful

    Ah, good times.

  56. Jason Springer

    Christie goes first, says this is a clear difference.  Says this is what he’s seen all across the state since February and the Gov doesn’t understand.  Says we have to lower taxes and the way to do it is to lower spending.  We have to spend less so we can tax less.  Says he will do it either by cooperating or using the line item veto. Says Corzine and Daggett are wrong.

    Corzine points to SL saying Christie’s tax plans are a fantasy.  He talks about what they’ve done over the last 4 years including cap and school funding formula.

    Daggett says Christie all fluff no plan.  Corzine taxes.  Daggett’s plan, cut prop taxes, expand sales.

    Christie says Daggett saying he will expand sales tax means he has his hand in your pocket.

  57. JRB (Post author)

    …. but the medical marijuana guy is a walking stereotype.

  58. ivalentine

    from Corzine on medical marijuana: “I’ll sign the bill,” full stop.

  59. Hopeful

    “I’ll sign it.”  Short answer.

  60. Jason Springer

    Corzine says he’ll sign the bill.  Hooker says ok w laughter from crowd.  

    Daggett says he’s for it as long as its targeted to the person.

    Christie says the devil is in the details because he has a law enforcement background.  Says he’d be in favor when true pain and suffering, don’t want to turn into California.

    Corzine says the bills that he has seen have very strict restrictions and he’d sign the bill.

    Hooker says there are bills with details.  Have you studied the bills or details.  Christie says he think the Senate bill needs to be strengthened.  Hooker says strengthened? Christie says yes more safeguards.

  61. JRB (Post author)
  62. Jason Springer

    Daggett says only way to bring back economy, attract jobs and retain jobs that are here, is to get on top of cost of government.  Make system leveler, fairer and make Nj more affordable.

    Christie response says that unemployment is the highest in over 30 years.  Christie says economy is worse than other states, he’s not pretending.  Says the reason is the tax policy pursued by Corzine administration.

    Corzine says they want to put gentleman back to work.  Talks about projects they are working on to do that. Talks about construction projects and clean energy program.  Says we are putting people back to work on infrastructure.

    Daggett says putting people back to work is slow and we need to make state more attractive.  haven’t done that under D’s and R’s who have put us in a deep hole.

  63. JRB (Post author)

    if he thinks that health care reform will get Republican votes….. Christie has made a mistake tying himself so closely to national Republicans.

  64. ivalentine

    on health care, saying that he hopes Congress will pass something.

  65. Hopeful

    The insurers will move to some state which will race to bottom to loosen regulations. See credit cards.

  66. carolh

    years,  I shuddered as a nasty flashback to the Bush yrs came over me.  Keep doing it, Chris.  

    Petulant, petulant Christie. I don’t think the public could stand 4 yrs of his condescending tone.  I’m having trouble just listening for 90 minutes….  

  67. ivalentine

    by Christie. Independents really aren’t the problem here…

  68. Jason Springer

    Corzine says there isn’t an issue there.  Says it’s one of those if you don’t like the truth, make up your own version.  Points to Christie’s investments. Says he has no knowledge of what the hedge fund invests in.  

    Daggett says we need strong ethics laws in NJ and we need to stop the corruption that occurs under the cover of law.  Points to healthcare and pension systems.  Says issue of Gov’s investments is a non issue and another diversion.

    Christie says all his assets will go to a blind trust when he wins.

    Corzine says Christie has had plenty of opportunities to put his money in a blind trust in his 7 years in public office.  Corzine says we should be talking about other things.

  69. carolh

    Christie said folks would ONLY have a public OPTION?  Trying to confuse folks that their current insurance would be taken away just like a Republican….

  70. carolh
  71. JRB (Post author)

    in saying that he believes he can win.

    But Christie says Daggett is just more of the same. He is really, really tone-deaf.

  72. carolh

    and knowledgable than his opponents.

  73. Jason Springer

    Daggett says he’s not in it to play the spoiler role.  He’s in it to win. Daggett says he will give a responsible set of alternatives and that’s why people gravitate to him.  He just needs to get 1 more votes than the other people running.  Says he can with 34% of the vote.  

    Christie agrees w/ Daggett that D’s and R’s have made a mess.  He says they don’t need the change Daggett is offering.  Christie actually criticizes Corzine for having no plans.  Yes, really.

    Corzine says he thinks its good that Daggett is in the race. Talks about what they’ve done and how he thinks its positive.

    Daggett says it sounds like both of these guys might vote for me.

  74. carolh

    I was shocked to hear Christie bring up Christie Todd Whitman’s causing the financial debacle at the beginning.  I could hear the RNC folks groan from here.  

  75. JRB (Post author)

    Some drag. But this is POPPIN’.

  76. Jason Springer

    Aron asks about federal stimulus funds and Christie rejecting funds.  Talks about contradictions from his campaign. Why not accept all the help we can get.

    Christie 1st attacks Corzine, then says if it involves an expansion of current program, thats what he wouldn’t accept.  He said only about $200 million of $3 billion is what he’d reject.

    Corzine responds saying Christie once again if he doesn’t look like the truth he makes up his own version.  Says you have to balance the budget. Corzine says he can’t understand what anyone would be thinking not taking federal stimulus funds.  Turning down those funds is ridiculous.

    Daggett says stimulus had to much pork. We do need stimulus money, but it has to be targeted.

    Christie says Corzine’s thinking is why we have a $10 billion deficit.

    Aron gets a follow up and asks Corzine to respond to Christie saying we’ve heard no plans from Corzine. Corzine says what they’re doing.

  77. JRB (Post author)

    on the economy.

    Don’t bring the kind of policies that wrecked the world to NJ.

  78. JRB (Post author)

    on the economy.

    Don’t bring the kind of policies that wrecked the world to NJ.

  79. JRB (Post author)

    on the economy.

    Don’t bring the kind of policies that wrecked the world to NJ.

  80. Adam L

    and statistics.  Needs to bring it back down to something more digestible for those who don’t love numbers like I do.

  81. Jason Springer

    Corzine says Bush policies is how we got into this mess.

    Daggett says Democrats tax and spend.  Republicans borrow and spend.  Common denominator is spend.  Time to stop that.

    Christie says Corzine has so little experience cutting taxes, he doesn’t know what we’re talking about. Says Corzine needs to get on the ground and listen to people.  It’s our tax policy that stifling jobs.

    Corzine says Christie doesn’t know it was a temporary tax.  We had a requirement to balance the budget.  They cut to a split screen of Christie smirking while Corzine answers.

    Burton asks a follow up to Corzine about unemployment figures.  Asks about trends that make us feel good.

    Corzine says no one can feel good when unemployment is what it is and number are going up.  But we have seen private sector growth for 2 months in a row with slower declines the prior 2 months.  Talks about cuts in public jobs.

  82. JRB (Post author)

    By asking short questions.

    He comes off like an ass.

  83. Rosi Efthim

    WTF is Christie talking about?  

  84. JRB (Post author)

    …. why does he have a problem with marriage equality?

    ANSWER: BEcause he thinks he will be Sarah Palin’s running mate someday.

  85. Jason Springer

    Daggett says he’d sign the bill.  Then goes back to sales tax.  He says he’s not raising sales tax, expanding to broader range of services.  Says it will fall largely on the upper side of the income bracket

    Christie says NJ civil union law is good and working.  He doesn’t support same sex marriage.  He believes marriage is between a man and a woman.  He wouldn’t sign the bill.  Christie goes back to Daggett’s plan for taxes saying he’s going to destroy shore rental business.

    Corzine says he will sign marriage equality bill working through the legislature.  He said he has a commitment to equality under the law and that is what is at stake here.  

    Daggett goes back to shore rentals and tries to explain and what they’d do with the money.

  86. Hopeful

    Corzine is loosening the rules.

  87. Jason Springer

    Christie says his Dept of Ed wont put hurdles up to block charter schools.  He says Corzine admin has dragged its feet.  Christie talks about how Charter schools do it at a lesser cost.  Says Corzine is captive of public ed system that wants to keep status quo.

    Corzine says we’re expanding charter schools, but need to make sure all charters are quality charters.  He says he doesn’t agree with vouchers and draining resources from public system.  Will undermine ability to pay for charters and rest of system.

    Daggett says 25 charter schools have closed because they didn’t do job necessary.  Says we should do the same thing with failing public schools.

    Christie says he’ll make this really clear.  He’s for vouchers in school districts that are failing.  Says Corzine would rather continue to send people to failing schools while he wastes his time.

  88. JRB (Post author)

    … and then at his notes.

  89. JRB (Post author)


  90. Jason Springer

    Daggett says election is important, maybe most important in our lifetime.  You already know that D’s and R’s are responsible for breaking.  Only independent leadership can help solve problem.  He talks about how their campaign is the only one that has provided specifics and told the truth.  Talks about his property tax plan. Says they’ve run a positive campaign and have tried to earn your vote.  Says D’s and R’s are trying to scare to say an independent can’t win.  Join him on Nov 3.

    Corzine says that on things that matter for families of NJ, he stands w them.  Thats why he’s worked w Obama to shape economic plan.  Christie would have turned down as much as $5 billion. On healthcare, we are expanding coverage for all citizens.  Christie would cut quality by accepting mandate free policies.  We have worked to make sure education continues to be the best.  Have closed education gaps. On the things that matter, he will help make families better.

    Christie says 9.7% unemployment, highest in over 30 years and worst in region.  Highest tax burden on each citizen.  Highest property taxes going up. Nearly 200,000 jobs lost this year. NJ is in crisis because we are taxed to much, because we spend to much and because we borrow to much.  Says you know, hope can be real again if we cut income taxes, hope can be real again if we restore nj to pride and prosperity.  He will restore your hope, faith and trust in government.

  91. Jay Lassiter

    if this dude thinks he’s a Ronald Reagan that’s the biggest crock i heard all night!

  92. Rosi Efthim

    That strikes me as a horrible line for Chris Christie to use. He says it with no sense of irony whatsoever.  

  93. Adam L

    “Hope can be real again?”

    that’s a good one.

  94. Rosi Efthim

    in case you haven’t had enough, analysis from the panel, and wrap-up.

    Note: The debate will be archived at Not sure how quick it will be posted. It will be rebroadcast on Sunday, October 4 at noon and 6 pm at NJN.  

  95. carolh

    Now why didn’t I think of that word. It’s PERFECT to describe Christie

  96. NJCentrist

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *