PARSIPPANY — Sierra Club New Jersey Chapter Director Jeff Tittel made it to the Chris Christie rally after watching independent Chris Daggett, who his group endorsed, give his concession speech.
“Jon Corzine wasn’t true to his base and he lost,” said Tittel. “Groups like the environmentalists are angry at him… so many other progressives and liberal Democrats stayed home.”
It was a different tune than what some of the conservative members of the crowd were saying – that the election was a pushback against Trenton’s overspending and other liberal priorities. And Corzine’s push to nationalize the race by bringing President Obama in to campaign for him was a major appeal the Democratic base.
But Tittel said Corzine made a “big mistake” by bringing Obama in. While the audiences were taken by the President, their ho-hum attitude towards Corzine showed, he said.
Tittel acknowledged that he was disappointed in Daggett’s mid single digit showing.
“He was the candidate everybody liked, but not the one you bring home to your mother,” he said. “In the end, it became a referendum on Corzine, and I think that’s why daggett’s numbers fell.”
Christie courted environmental groups heavily during the campaign, and won the endorsement of one of the New Jersey Environmental Federation. Ben Forest, a board member of the group, stood next to Tittel, smiling. The two groups made different endorsement choices, but were unanimous in their rejection of Corzine, who they both endorsed in 2005.