By JILL COLVIN
GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) _ After receiving a warm welcome in Iowa last week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was met by angry protests Monday evening during a trip to Greenwich to campaign for Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley.
Nearly 200 gun control advocates lined the street leading to the tony Belle Haven neighborhood where Christie attended a fundraiser for the state’s Republican party in his role as chair of the Republican Governors Association.
Many had traveled by bus from Newtown, the site of the deadly 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, to protest Christie’s recent veto of legislation that would have reduced maximum gun magazine capacities in New Jersey. Christie has called the measure “trivial” and said he does not believe it would limit mass shootings. He also angered advocates by refusing to meet with family members of shooting victims the day the veto was signed.
“We want an end to the madness,” said one of the protesters, Pat Oliver, 59, a statistician from Newtown, who said she and other residents were “greatly insulted” by the governor’s choice of words.
Katherine Morosky, 37, said her seven-year-old daughter knew many of the children killed during the shooting _ as well as some that made it out when, she said, the gunman was forced to reload.
“Their lives were not trivial,” she said, echoing the words of many in the crowd. “Chris Christie is offensive in his choice or words and his decision not to be on the side of common-sense gun violence prevention legislation.”
Earlier in the evening, Christie received a better reception as he and Foley greeted supporters gathered at the Glory Days Diner.
Speaking to reporters in the back of the restaurant, Christie acknowledged it was rare for him to get involved in a primary race, but said he decided to make an exception.
“I feel so strongly about Tom, worked hard for him four years ago, (and was) really disappointed that he came up short. And when he was willing to step forward again and take a run at this race in 2014, I wanted him to know that I was with him right from the beginning,” he said.
Foley, the endorsed Republican candidate for governor, is facing Senate Minority Leader John McKinney in a Republican primary on Aug. 12. The winner will go on to challenge Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy.
The Republican Governors Association has raised $60 million under Christie’s leadership so far.
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