With polls showing New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine having closed to a dead heat with Republican challenger Chris Christie just weeks before election day, the Democrat incumbent took full advantage of his rally with President Obama Wednesday night.
At Fairleigh Dickinson University in Hackensack for the president’s appearance with the governor, volunteers in the state Obama carried by seven points last year wore black t-shirts emblazoned in blue with the slogan, “Yes We Can 2.0,” — with the “O” an Obama campaign logo, according to the pool report:
The Obama campaign was present from the ubiquitous “Yes, we can’s” to the blue-on-blue placards for Corzine-Weinberg.
That would be Democratic State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, Corzine’s running mate, who spoke of “our great president, our Nobel Peace Prize winner.”
“If we stand strong, New Jersey voters will say, ‘Yes, we can,’” she concluded, as she introduced Caroline Kennedy, who then introduced Corzine.
Corzine said “President Obama’s election led to a sea change in in how Americans view the world and how the world views America.”
He then went into a speech blistering his Republican opponent, Chris Christie, as “the candidate who sides with big corporations.”
“Christie “not only advocates the failed economic policies of George Bush. He wants to bring them back to New Jersey,” Corzine said. He evoked the names of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and disgraced South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, saying that, like them, Christie would have rejected some funds from the stimulus plan.
But the response to POTUS’s introduction gave some indication of who the 3,500 people in the audience were there for. POTUS stepped onto the stage at 6:15 p.m. to thunderous cheers and the strains of “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now.”
POTUS gave a full-throated rally speech on Corzine’s behalf. He hailed Corzine as “a governor who has provided more property tax relief than any governor in New Jersey history.”
He called him the first New Jersey governor to reduce the size of government, even as he “expanded early childhood education for more than 5,000 children,” and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program for nearly 100,000.
He hailed his signing of state legislation mandating paid sick leave and called him the first governor in the nation to sign a recovery plan to get his state’s economy moving again.
He also called Corzine “one of the best partners I have at the White House.”
In an acknowledgement of the politically unpopular decisions the governor has made during the recession, he implored New Jersey voters to “cast aside cynicism and show that the leaders who do what’s right will be rewarded.”
Finally, he led the crown in a chant of “Fired Up, Ready To Go,” and implored New Jerseyans to go out and vote.