New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie squared off against Democratic challenger, state Sen. Barbara Buono in a televised debate Tuesday evening, demonstrating for voters the stark difference of the candidates’ positions on same-sex marriage.
Buono challenged Christie on remarks he made at a campaign stop earlier Tuesday when a voter challenged his 2012 veto of a marriage equality bill.
“This is different from gun control and taxes — this is a human rights issue,” Bert Bueno told the governor.
“Says you,” replied Christie.
“I have relatives who are gay. I have friends who are gay. I can sit down and have a conversation, but I don’t think it’s going to change my view,” Christie added.
During Tuesday night’s debate, Christie dismissed the issue of same-sex marriage as a “political agenda:”
Buono: Governor, show a profile in courage and do the right thing for our sons and our daughters, our brothers and our sisters. This is a human right and it really should not be on the ballot. We should not have the majority of the people decide the minority’s rights. It’s just wrong.
Christie: Thirty-five other states — 35 of the 50 — have put this question on the ballot, and so the idea that this should never be on the ballot is something that is against what 35 other states have done. I trust the people of New Jersey to make this judgment. I don’t trust 121 politicians with political agendas…
Buono: My daughter, who is openly gay, is not a political agenda.
Christie, often seen as a potential GOP presidential candidate in 2016, said Tuesday that he won’t decide whether he’ll seek the presidency until he has to.
Buono is seen as having little chance at unseating the popular governor.
Christie and Buono will debate each other once more before the Nov. 5 election.