(CNSNews.com) – New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie said he and Democrat Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo have “a lot of the same values,” but dismissed the notion that he and Cuomo agree on “98 percent of the issues.”
Christie was criticized after he was quoted in the Glen Falls New York Chronicle last week, saying, “I’m not much different from Andrew Cuomo. I probably agree with him on 98 percent of the issues.”
During a press conference on Tuesday, Christie implied he was quoted incorrectly, saying he and Gov. Cuomo only share similar backgrounds.
“What I said was that Governor Cuomo and I were raised in very much the same kind of households,” he said. “Governor Cuomo was raised by a Sicilian mother and so was I. And so that a lot of our values are the same.”
“I don’t ever remember saying anything like I agree with him 98% of the time because I don’t,” Christie said. “So I’m sure I didn’t say that.”
He continued: “But what I do remember saying and what I do believe is that Governor Cuomo and I have a lot of the same values in terms of the way we were raised. And that was the conversation I was having with that person, a group of people it was actually, about the similarities between me and Governor Cuomo and our styles.”
“And I think that’s what people were – that’s what they were really talking about, not specific nitty-gritty issues,” Christie said. “We were not talking specific issues in that conversation.”
“We were talking about overall approach to the job of governor,” he said.
An article about a meeting between Christie and a local plumbers union in South Glen Falls, New York was published on Feb. 14 after the union donated $50,000 to the New Jersey Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund.
In the article, the union’s national director of Political and Legislative Affairs, Larry Bulman, quotes Christie as saying he agrees with Cuomo on “98 percent of the issues.”
“The governor said he wanted to thank us in person, and invited us to come to the Governor’s Mansion” in Princeton,” Bulman said.
“He said when he told Mr. Christie he is from upstate New York, he said, ‘I’m not much different from Andrew Cuomo. I probably agree with him on 98% of the issues,’” the article says.
“We didn’t talk about the minimum wage, or guns,” Bulman said. “It wasn’t a political meeting, so to speak.”
Bulman told CNSNews.com that the Christie quote was accurate, but the exchange came in the context of union issues.