The New Jersey Republican Committee is paying for a radio ad campaign in which Gov. Chris Christie emphasizes the positives in the new state budget.
In the ad, Christie talks about $850 million in new aid for New Jersey public schools and says the budget calls for no new taxes.
Monmouth University political analyst Patrick Murray says Christie is using the ad to respond to the claims by Democratic lawmakers that his budget cuts are mean spirited.
“The bully attack never really meant much to voters because you could still do a good job while being a bully, but mean spirited is an entirely different thing,” said Murray. “So he has to show that these cuts were necessary, that in doing so he was still able to restore money to the areas that were most important to people while keeping taxes down.”
Rider University science professor Ben Dworkin expects there will be some criticism of the ad’s claim that the budget calls for no tax increases for any New Jersey family.
“There are questions about the elimination of the earned income tax credit for working poor people,” said Dworkin. “When you eliminate that, is that a tax increase? The governor says no tax increase for anybody, but there are those of his opponents who would take issue with that.”
Analysts say the ad allows Christie to promote his agenda with New Jersey residents even while he’s on vacation out West. Depending on how much airplay it gets, they say it will also help Christie’s approval ratings rebound.