NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Democratic St. Sen. Barbara Buono has officially kicked off her campaign for New Jersey governor.
She spoke about her run Monday with WCBS 880’s Steve Scott for the Eye on Politics.
Scott asked her why she wants to be the next governor.
“I want to create the same opportunities I had,” she said. “You know, I was born and raised in New Jersey. My father was a butcher. He came over from Italy, didn’t have have a lot of education, and I lost my father. I was 19. He was very young. But you know the lessons my parents tought me really have formed the basis of how I’ve conducted myself my entire life and they always tought me the importance good education and how that combination of a good education and hard work could open the opportunities for a young person and the opportunities I had growing up, when I went to law school, I went to Montclair State University, went to Rutgers Law School, and I was able to do it by a number of jobs, several loans, tuition assistance, but back then, when I went, it was affordable and there were jobs to pay off those loans when I graduated.”
RELATED: Subscribe to the Eye on Politics
“The cost now of higher education has skyrocketed and kids just don’t have the opportunities to get the training, the education, and the skills that they need for the jobs that are in demand, the jobs in the 21st Century,” she said.
Gov. Chris Christie’s approval ratings are pretty high. Does Buono think she can beat him?
“His approval ratings are, I believe, artificially high and, in the wake of the good will that’s been generated after Hurricane Sandy, and that’s a good thing,” she said. “We all did come together and I think it was important that we came together, we still are working in a bipartisan way to rebuild and recover. People are still traumatized by that. New Jerseyans are tough. We’re smart people and we are moving, but you know, the fact of the matter is New Jersey was in crisis before the hurricane hit and we all know it. We cannot just back down from addressing the problems that existed before the storm.”
What were the biggest things that she thinks Christie has done wrong in his first four years as governor?
“I can tell you one thing I wouldn’t have done. I wouldn’t have rejected… billions of dollars for the New Jersey tunnel into the city that this governor rejected out of hand that would have created literally, literally thousands of good paying jobs here in New Jersey and would have increased our property values on this side of the river,” she said.
“I would not have pulled out of this multi-state pact that we had with the other states in the northeast that was creating good paying green jobs. I would not have vetoed a piece of legislation that was passed. It was my legislation. It was passed a year ago by the Legislature and it would have created partnerships between universities and private industry, the emerging market,” she continued.