By Lindsay Beyerstein
NJ governor Jon Corzine's new ad insinuates that his Republican opponent Chris Christie abused his status as a US Attorney to get lenient treatment for two serious traffic infractions.
The ad sticks close to the facts: In 2005, Christie was pulled over for going 58 in a 40 zone. It turned out that the car's registration had lapsed and Christie couldn't produce proof of insurance. Remarkably, the cop let him drive home, despite New Jersey's strict policy of towing unregistered vehicles. The Lambertville police director initially claimed that Christie got loud during the traffic stop, but later reversed himself.
Christie denies that he pulled rank. He says he was allowed to drive home because his children, his wife, and his deputy were in the vehicle and he didn't want to leave them. Curiously, the tickets Christie received in connection with the incident were marked "no deal." This wasn't Christie's first brush with traffic laws, either. In 2002, he turned the wrong way down a one-way street and hit a motorcyclist. The cyclist ended up in a trauma center and Christie's rental car was totaled, but Christie walked away without a ticket.
The ad also alludes to Christie's failure to pay income tax on the interest from an unreported loan he made to a subordinate while he was a public servant, a prosecutor no less.
The takehome message is that Chris Christie has one set of rules for himself and another for everyone else. You can decide for yourself whether that argument is convincing, but the underlying allegations are true.
So, how does the Christie camp respond to the ad? By accusing Corzine of mocking his weight. Welcome to non sequitur hour in GOP-land.
The voiceover accuses Christie of "throwing his weight around." The ad uses some black and white video footage of Christie, which appears to have been shot before the candidate dropped 25 pounds.
So, new rule for Chris Christie: All pre-diet images of Chris Christie must be Photoshopped or destroyed. The entire pre-diet audiovisual record mocks Chris Christie by accurately depicting his physical appearance.