Barbara Buono, the Democratic candidate challenging Chris Christie in New Jersey’s gubernatorial race, said in her first television ad of the general election that she’s “the only one actually running for governor.”
“Chris Christie’s got his sights set on the Republican presidential primary,” Buono says, standing in front of a basketball court.
“He wants to be president. I want to be your governor.”
The New Jersey state senator, trailing the popular incumbent governor by as much as 29 points in recent polls, has increasingly turned to the 2016 presidential race as a line of attack against her opponent.
Christie has not ruled out a bid for the White House and is already widely considered a frontrunner in the Republican primary.
Asked about his presidential ambitions in the first gubernatorial debate earlier this month, Christie said, “I can walk and chew gum at the same time. I can do this job and also deal with my future.”
Buono tied Christie’s policy views — specifically highlighting his opposition to abortion rights, and his decision to cut funding for Planned Parenthood and veto the state’s same-sex marriage bill — to what she has called his thinly veiled interest in competing in the already crowded Republican primary field.
The 30-second spot, titled “Your Governor,” begins running Friday in New York City and Philadelphia television markets, the Buono campaign said.