TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A national Democratic group that stayed mostly silent during the New Jersey governor’s race has begun targeting Gov. Chris Christie as he begins his new role as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
The Democratic National Committee released an online ad Thursday attacking the GOP governor and possible 2016 candidate.
Christie is set to make his first fundraising appearance as head of the RGA with Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, unless bad weather there forces Thursday’s trip to be canceled.
The minute-long video criticizes Christie for focusing on re-electing governors like Fallin, who in the ad refers to the DREAM Act as amnesty for illegal residents, and who recently ended the state’s spousal benefits for National Guard members to keep same-sex partners from obtaining them.
Watch The Video Below:
Christie has said he supports DREAM Act-type legislation in New Jersey, but has issues with the current bill. He opposes same-sex marriage, but dropped a court appeal and let the marriages go forward in his state.
The RGA chairman’s job is to help elect or re-elect Republican governors around the country. There are 36 gubernatorial races in the country next year.
“What you will see from us now and going forward, we will be holding Gov. Christie accountable for the candidates he campaigns for,” said DNC spokesman Ian Sams. “Now that he has taken on a national role, we have a stronger role to play.”
Some New Jersey Democrats have wondered aloud where national Democrats were during this year’s governor’s race, one of only two such campaigns in the country, which Christie won by 22 points on Nov. 5. Along the way, he secured endorsements from more than 50 elected Democrats and received half the state’s Hispanic vote in a race he dominated from the start.
His opponent, Democrat Barbara Buono, was largely unknown and generated little enthusiasm.
“Barbara Buono was a flawed candidate. I’m not surprised people didn’t want to invest in her,” said Christie adviser Bill Palatucci.
Many who supported the Democrat or worked on her campaign expected more help from the national party. The weekend before the election, she campaigned on her own, without a show of support from any of the party’s big draws.
The Washington, D.C.-based American Bridge for the 21st Century PAC also has released a web ad targeting Christie. The Democratic super PAC-funded video accuses the governor of flip-flopping on a bill granting in-state tuition to illegal residents.
Watch The Video Below:
“Maybe someone should have given national Democrats a calendar,” Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal mused on Facebook on Thursday morning in a post about the new ads.
Christie indicated his support for the immigrant tuition bill while campaigning for re-election, but afterward said he would not sign the bill that the state Senate passed.
The bill allows students in the country illegally who graduate from a New Jersey high school to pay cheaper in-state tuition at state
colleges and to receive financial aid. The bill has wide support among Hispanics.
Christie said he wants a bill that does not give financial aid to students living in the United States illegally and that limits eligibility to in-state tuition to students in the U.S. as of 2012.
“They’re overreaching and making it unsignable and making the benefits richer than the federal program, the federal DREAM Act,” he said last month. “That’s simply not acceptable for me.”
New Jersey’s Democrat-led state Legislature says the bill will land on his desk ‘as is.’
Check Out These Other Stories From CBSNewYork.com:
- Police: Burglars Targeted Restaurants, Bars On Lower East Side, In Chinatown
- Residents Say Construction Crew Has Been Forklifting Cars Onto The Curb In Williamsburg
- Newburgh Issues State Of Emergency Due To Chemical In Water
- Seen At 11: Cocoa Could Help Reverse Memory Loss By Decades
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)