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Chris Christie To Minority-Heavy Town Hall: "It's Harder To Hate Up Close"

Courting gubernatorial voters Tuesday at a Baptist church in Paterson, N.J. "We're all human beings," says Christie.

Posted on March 12, 2013, at 6:52 p.m. ET

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At a town hall appearance Tuesday in Paterson, N.J., Gov. Chris Christie made a candid reelection pitch to a crowd of 700 constituents who all but certainly did not vote for the Republican four years ago during his first gubernatorial race.

In 2009, then-incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine received 85 percent of the Paterson vote — about 17,300 votes in total, compared to Christie's 2,200 — in the heavily Democratic city where one-third of residents are African-American, and more than half of residents of every race identified as Hispanic.

"The purpose of spending this time together is it becomes harder to hate up close," said Christie, as the event came to a close. "We realize we're all human beings. We all have our strengths and our weaknesses. We all have our insecurities. We all have our great successes and our disappointments. And as we get to know each other, it becomes a lot harder then to yell and scream at each other."

"What I know is this: My job is to work for the people who elected me, and not to work for my political party first," said Christie. "My first job is for New Jersey, regardless of what party I belong to."

Christie, who is up for reelection this fall against Democratic state Senator Barbara Buono, has a 56 percent approval rating among non-whites in New Jersey, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll out Tuesday morning.

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