A furious Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Lanford this morning challenged Chris Christie to a “mano-a-mano” confrontation after the New Jersey governor blasted the mayor yesterday for failing to evacuate his city in time.
“Despite my admonition to evacuate, he gave them comfort for some reason to stay,” Christie said yesterday evening about the mayor in a news conference, noting that there were still many people in Atlantic City that needed to be rescued.
Lanford flatly denied Christie’s statement, questioning his sources, calling it “absolutely false” and “dead wrong.”
“Here we are in the throws of a major catastrophe and the governor has chosen a time such as this to play politics,” Landford said. “I think it is reprehensible that he would stoop to the level to try and make a political situation out of some thing that was so serious as the situation we are in now.”
When host Matt Lauer offered the opportunity to challenge Christie personally on the show, Landford agreed.
“I would love nothing better than that,” he said. “To confront the governor mano-a-mano.”
Earlier on the Today Show, Christie explained to Lauer that his anger towards Landford had turned into sympathy for those still stranded.
“I feel badly for the folks in Atlantic city who listened to him, and sheltered in Atlantic City,” Christie said. “I guess my anger has turned into sympathy for those folks.”