Christie assesses Lonegan’s handling of controversial tweet

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie, in response to a question today, weighed in on the controversy nipping at the heels of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Steve Lonegan over a racially insensitive tweet.

That tweet, which a campaign staffer had posted and which Lonegan promptly ordered removed, has turned into a controversy as the primary campaign winds down. Although he ordered the tweet eliminated, Lonegan later defended his situation and said he is being made a victim of the political correctness movement.

“Obviously the tweet in question was inflammatory and inappropriate,’’ Christie said during a press conference. “The proof that it was was that Steve ordered it taken down.”

In response to Lonegan’s subsequent defense of his situation, Christie said that “His actions in taking it down undercut his later defense.’’

“Steve never backs away from something, no matter how controversial,’’ Christie said. “My perspective, I would fire the guy who did it. Putting that tweet up shows a complete lack of judgment. Steve’s decision has been to work with that person. That’s his call.’’

Christie indicated that the controversy serves a purpose ultimately in that it gives the voters some insight into how he would make decisions as a Senator.

Previously, Christie has said that he anticipated endorsing whoever wins the GOP primary. Lonegan is facing Dr. Alieta Eck, who trails by wide margins in polls. 

"Historically, the media has had two caricatures of Republicans. We are either stupid or evil."
—U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)