Chris Christie on 2016 and 10 more memorable lines from the New Jersey governor’s debate

October 8, 2013

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and state Sen. Barbara Buono (D) debated for the first time Tuesday night.

It got heated pretty quickly.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R). (Mel Evans/AP)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R). (Mel Evans/AP)

From the presidential buzz surrounding Christie, to gay marriage, taxes and late-night TV, the two candidates traded jabs for the better part of the hour-long meeting, which was hosted by the Bergen Record newspaper, William Paterson University and Gannett New Jersey.

Below we give you the 11 best quotes from the debate:

Buono, opening the debate with a dig at Christie's celebrity: "Don't let the glossy magazine covers and late-night wisecracks fool you. There is nothing that's funny about what's going on in New Jersey. And there's no amount of YouTube videos or late-night shows that will erase the fact that we have 400,000 people out of work."

Christie, on his outspokenness: "Using direct and blunt language is something I've done my whole life and it's the way my mother raised me."

Christie on his belief that gay marriage should be decided via referendum: "I trust the people of New Jersey to make this judgment. I don't trust 121 politicians with political agendas."

Buono, who disagrees, in response: "My daughter, who is openly gay, is not a political agenda."

Christie, on whether he will run for president: "They all said I was going to do it in 2012. I said I wouldn't, and I didn't. And the fact is, after 2017, I am going to be looking for a new job anyway. So, as we go forward I am going to continue to do my job the best way I possibly can. And I am not going to declare tonight, [moderator] Kristine [Johnson], for you or for anybody else that I am or am not running for president. You know what, the people out there in New Jersey don't expect me to. What they expect me to do is do my job."

Buono, in response: "Governor, it doesn't bother me that you're running for president. What bothers me is how you're running for president. You're sacrificing the safety of our children by vetoing common sense gun legislation just to cater to the NRA."

More Christie, on his future: "I can walk and chew gum at the same time, Kristine. I can do this job and also deal with my future."

Buono, on Christie blaming his predecessor: "Governor, you have to man up. You've been in office for four years."

Christie to Buono in the direct question round: "We've chronicled for the public your 154 votes to raise taxes and fees. Is there one of them you regret?"

Christie, when asked whether he has ever voted for a Democrat: "I haven't, but I'm hopeful."

Buono, when asked what she likes about Christie: "Well, he's good on late-night TV, he's just not so good in New Jersey." (When Christie was asked the same thing about Buono, he complimented her.)

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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