In New Jersey, Corzine Latches On to Christie's Social Conservatism

Republican Chris Christie is a social conservative running in blue state New Jersey.

By + More

By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country

We've become accustomed to seeing "values" brandished by religious candidates, usually social conservatives, against more secular opponents, usually social liberals. But the ad that Democratic New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine is airing in heaviest rotation against challenger Chris Christie does just the opposite, alleging Christie's social conservatism is out of step with blue-state values.

The spot, above, hits Christie for conservative positions on abortion rights and embryonic stem cell research, concluding that he "doesn't share our values."

New Jersey's last elected Republican governor, Christine Todd Whitman, was pro-abortion rights and decried the religious right, but Christie is a social conservative. From the part of his website labeled "Shared Values":

Mary Pat and I have been blessed with four beautiful children and like many New Jersey parents, we have worked hard to instill strong values in each of them. Our children attend parochial school where we hope their studies will help guide them in their faith and reinforce the values we teach them at home. Experiences in my life, along with my faith, have led me to believe in the sanctity, dignity and inherent value of all human life.

I am pro-life. Hearing the strong heartbeat of my unborn daughter 14 years ago at 13 weeks gestation had a profound effect on me and my beliefs. The life of every human being is precious. We must work to reduce abortions in New Jersey through laws such as parental notification, a 24-hour waiting period and a ban on partial-birth abortion.

I also believe marriage should be exclusively between one man and one woman. While, I have no issue with same sex couples sharing contractual rights, I believe that marriage should remain the exclusive domain of one man and one woman.

If a bill legalizing same sex marriage came to my desk as Governor, I would veto it. If the law were changed by judicial fiat, I would be in favor of a constitutional amendment on the ballot so that voters, not judges, would decide this important social question.

What do you think: Can a religious conservative win in the Garden State?