The mayor of Atlantic City, N.J., accused Gov. Chris Christie of “playing politics” for calling out the city’s chief exec for not evacuating all residents when ordered to do so, and said he’d love to confront Christie on it “mano-to-mano.”
“The governor is either misinformed and ill-advised, or simply just deciding to prevaricate,” Mayor Lorenzo Langford (D) said on the Today show. “But isn’t it sad, here we are in the throes of a major catastrophe and the governor has chosen a time such as this to play politics. I think it’s reprehensible that he would stoop to the level to try and make a political situation out of something that was so serious as the situation.”
Christie said that the mayor had given some of his city’s residents “comfort” to stay in shelters despite the governor’s evacuation orders, and due to those “mixed messages” urban search crews are now hunting for stranded residents in the flooded city today.
“I’m telling you that that is absolutely false and the governor needs to be challenged. Those of you with journalistic integrity need to ask the governor what his source is. Where did he get that information? He’s dead wrong,” Langford said.
“Fortunately, most of the residents in the city of Atlantic City heeded that advice. Unfortunately, as always will be the case, there will always be those who will not heed that warning and decide to stay,” he said. “…So we had a plan in place for those few residents who would decide at the last minute that they would not try to heed our warning and vacate the city, but would try to hunker down, tough it out, only to find that at some other time they wanted to flee. We had that contingency plan in place.”
NBC host Matt Lauer suggested they could try to get Christie and Langford on the air at the same time.
“I would love nothing better than that, than to confront the governor mano-a-mano,” Langford said.