Underdog gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono (D) goes right after New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie's economic record in her first TV ad, released Wednesday by her campaign.
"To hear Governor Christie tell it, everything in New Jersey’s going just fine," Buono, a state senator, says in the 30-second commercial. "Well, I see another New Jersey, with 400,000 unemployed – one of the worst jobless rates in the country."
The second half of the ad is devoted to Buono's biography, and convincing voters that she is in touch with middle class concerns.
"I know that struggle, because I lived it. My dad was an immigrant who worked as a butcher. Working my way through school, I was able to pull myself up," Buono says.
Buono's campaign said it is spending more than $1 million to broadcast the ad, which will run in the expensive New York City media market.
Polls show Christie is an overwhelming favorite to win reelection this fall. His response to Hurricane Sandy last year was very well-received by voters and he remains one of the country's most popular governors.
The Republican touted his bipartisan credentials and reminded voters about his response to Sandy in his first ad, released earlier this month. He has since launched attacks ad against Buono, including a new one on Wednesday that seeks to tie her to former governor Jon Corzine (D), whom Christie unseated in 2009.
"Jon Corzine elected Governor. Teams up with Barbara Buono. One point two billion dollar sales taxes increase? Passed," says the narrator of Christie's ad.
"Unfortunately for the 400,000 people unemployed and the families crushed by skyrocketing property taxes, Governor Chis Christie's only response to New Jersey's sputtering economy is to blame his predecessor," responded Buono spokesman David Turner.
"Barbara Buono may be ‘very proud’ of her tenure as Jon Corzine’s budget chair, but New Jerseyans know that we cannot go back to the failed era of more taxes, more debt and fewer jobs under Jon Corzine and Barbara Buono," said Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts.
Updated at 3:09 p.m.