Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Christie Takes Shot at Clinton

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Christie Takes Shot at Clinton

Article excerpt

CONCORD, N.H. -- Governor Christie lashed out at Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail Friday, saying her new push to expand voter rolls across the country is a ploy designed "to commit greater acts of voter fraud."

Although he has not yet announced a presidential run, Christie had the toughest response of anyone in the Republican Party to a speech Clinton gave on voting rights a day earlier, one of her first major policy addresses since she declared her candidacy in April.

At a historically black college in Houston, Clinton, a former secretary of state and U.S. senator, called for automatic voter registration at age 18 and a 20-day window for early voting, among other measures. Clinton singled out Republican governors, including Christie, saying they were on "a crusade" to block minorities from the ballot box.

"What is happening is a sweeping effort to disempower and disenfranchise people of color, poor people and young people from one end of our country to the other," Clinton said in a fiery speech, later adding: "Republicans are systematically and deliberately trying to stop millions of American citizens from voting. What part of democracy are they afraid of?"

On his seventh trip to New Hampshire this year, Christie fired back.

"Secretary Clinton doesn't know the first thing about voting rights in New Jersey or in the other states that she attacked," Christie told reporters on Friday after greeting breakfast patrons in a New Hampshire diner. "My sense is that she just wants an opportunity to commit greater acts of voter fraud around the country."

Democratic officials bristled at Christie's "voter fraud" comments on Friday, and they pointed out he once spent $12 million to hold a separate, special election in October 2013 for the U.S. Senate seat that went vacant after Frank Lautenberg's death. Christie could have set the election for Nov. 4, when he was up for reelection, but Democrats said he feared losing votes by sharing a ballot with Cory Booker, a popular Democrat who won the Senate seat.

"Rather than accepting common-sense solutions to our broken election systems, Governor Christie has actually blocked legislation that makes it easier for a person to exercise the right to vote," said Kaylie Hanson, a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee.

Hitting the trail

The charges and countercharges capped one of the busiest weeks in politics this year, especially for a man not officially running for president. Joined by his wife, Mary Pat, the governor had stops in Florida, New Hampshire and South Carolina. He spoke at an economic forum, a fundraiser for a New Hampshire mayor, at town-hall-style gatherings, at a round table on drug rehabilitation measures, and ended taping an interview with "Face the Nation" for Sunday.

Christie will make an announcement on a presidential run this month, he said on Friday. …

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