At a town hall in West Milford, N.J., Tuesday, a member of the audience told Gov. Chris Christie that it was unfair that her town — West Milford — is burdened by higher taxes while people in Newark "sit out there on their stoops in the summer time, smoking pot, drinking booze...on food stamps and welfare."
The woman argued that Newark uses West Milford's water, and should therefore pay a usage charge of "a dollar or two dollars to the millions of people who are using our water."
The question was received with some applause, but Gov. Christie painted the West Milford woman's comment as a class-based attack.
"Give the microphone back," said Christie. "I was with you for most of your talk....but let me just say this. It is unfair, with all due respect, to characterize every person who lives in Newark — because that's what you just did — as sitting on their stoops and smoking pot and collecting food stamps. I've spent a lot of time in Newark, and I know that every family is not like that."
Christie told the town hall that the state would not succeed "by pitting New Jerseyans against New Jerseyans. It may get a lot of applause, but we don't win that way," he said. "When we do, we lessen each other, and we're better than that."
Ruby Cramer is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Ruby Cramer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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