The Spectacle Blog

Steve Lonegan vs. Chris Christie Debate Liveblogging

By on 5.12.09 | 8:00PM

I'll be liveblogging this debate tonight. Stay on this link and just hit refresh.

8:03: I'd comment on Christie's speech, but I'm a little distracted by what the heck is happening in the background. It looks like a live feed of a Predator's helmet.

8:04: Lonegan is racing through his speech, but hitting hard points. Stumbling a little, but at least he didn't read off his notes.

8:04: Christie is having a problem figuring out whether he wants to look at the camera or the moderator.

8:05: Lonegan notes that property taxes, business taxes, corporate taxes are too high.

8:06: Christie emphasizes government spending is the problem, not the property taxes.

8:08: Zero-based budgeting --I don't know what that is, but it sounds a little bit like a dental apointment to have to go through every year.

8:08: All the state agencies should have "One affirmative action program, if that" according to Lonegan. Yikes.

8:09: WILL THEY PLEASE STOP GOING SO FAST.

8:09: Flat tax! Lonegan suggests a 2.9% flat tax, libertarian heads *explode*.

8:10: Christie: My first action as a freeholder was to make a motion to do something. I'm not the least bit clear on what the heck he's talking about, but it sounds like he was a real trailblazer.

8:11: Oh snap, steve lonegan diss!! "I'm surprised after such a good record, you weren't reelected after your first term."

8:12: "What Steve doesn't know is that I fought the status quo." Good rebuttal.

8:12: THEY ARE STILL GOING TOO FAST. WHAT IS THIS, THE NORTHEAST?!

8:13: Weird mealy-mouthed stance from Christie -- he would veto legislation authorizing gay marriage, but he thinks it should be decided by the people. Uh?

8:14: Lonegan hits Christie for his no-bid contract judgments, noting that Christie would be in big trouble if he got hit for this in the general election by Corzine. Christie responds that something needed to be done.

8:18: Christie believes in universal school vouchers. Lonegan rebuts that if you allow them to go to other districts, then no one would be going to any of the schools and the system would be decimated.

8:20: Lonegan looks much much more comfortable talking policy. While Christie tried to make himself sound like a crusader, he sounded a little disjointed in his rhetoric.

8:22: Christie continues pushing the flat-tax-as-tax-hike story. Says that Forbes, a flat tax advocate, endorsed him.

8:23: Lonegan gets laughs for saying that Forbes supported the bailout. He also notes that other taxes that would be eliminated (small business and corporate taxes that chase away businesses). Again, he's in comfortable territory explaining this.

8:24: WHY DO THEY HAVE TO GO SO FAST. THIS IS NOT THE LIGHTENING ROUND.

8:26: Lonegan jabs Christie on his stance on the council on affordable housing, which changed from December from being in favor of it to being against it entirely.

8:28: Lonegan explains why you shouldn't cry for public employees getting laid off, because his tax cuts will lead to increased jobs. Christie simply suggests that everyone's losing jobs, and it would be unfair not to ask public employees to share in that sacrifice. WHAT?!

8:33: Christie supports tyranny, i.e. the progressive tax code, according to Lonegan. Lonegan, according to Christie, wants to raise taxes using a flat tax. I think there was a Reagan reference in there. Do a shot.

8:34: Lonegan notes that the reason why people don't have health insurance is because they don't want it, like his daughter who may have swine flu. But wait! He also wants tort reform to end ridiculous lawsuits in New Jersey. Somebody needs to tell him that New Jersey is *all about the ridiculous lawsuits*.

8:37: Christie claims his doctors think he knows too much about medicine during an unfortunate behind-the-back camera angle. The patron saint of irony snickers.

I'm giving up attempting to liveblog this. This is way too fast for me to be anything but super-snarky. Which may be entertaining. Lonegan is much better prepared for this debate. He is in much better command of the policies he's espousing, whereas Christie is spacing out his speech to fill time. It looks like an oral exam and Christie was up all night after a semester of drinking in the parking lot. Which may actually be a recommendation for his ascent in New Jersey politics.

I'll watch this when archived and make up timestamps. Call me when they mention Reagan again.

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