TODAY   |  October 30, 2012

Atlantic City mayor: Christie’s rebukes ‘reprehensible’

Atlantic City, N.J., famous for its boardwalk and casinos, is underwater this morning. The city’s mayor, Lorenzo Langford, calls in to discuss the status of the flooded city and the harsh criticism he received from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> lorenzo langford is the mayor of atlantic city and joins us now on the phone. mayor langford , good morning to you.

>> good morning to you as well.

>> what's your assessment of post-sandy atlantic city ?

>> well, let me say this. as devastating as this storm was with respect to property damage, i think the glass is half full and not half empty . we've experienced a minimal loss of life and injury, and i think for that all of us ought to be thankful and send up a big mighty prayer

>> you know, your name got in the news yesterday, perhaps not for the reason that you had hoped, but the governor of new jersey called you out for your failure to fully evacuate the city. he called for that evacuation, and you offered some residents of atlantic city shelter in city shelters. talk to me about the decision. what happened.

>> well, first of all, let me say this, the governor is either misinformed and ill advised or simply just deciding to prevaricate. that's not what happens. here we are in the throes of a major catastrophe and the governor has chosen a time such as this to play politics. i think it's reprehensible that he would stoop to the level to try to make a political situation out of something that is so serious at this situation.

>> well, here, let me tell you what the governor said. he said for whatever reason mayor langford urged people to stay in the shelters in the city despite my admonition to evacuation. he gave them comfort and for some reason to say.

>> what's his source?

>> i'm asking you. did it happen? is it accurate?

>> i'm telling you that that is absolutely false and the governor needs to say where the source is, where did he get his information, he's dead wrong. he'll join us a little later in the morning and we'll ask him that question. how many people did spend the night in shelters in your city, mayor?

>> well, fortunately most of our residents did heed the repeated warnings that they should flee the city. as you know, we are a barrier island and the clarion call did go out from the governor's island to suggest everybody flee the island and fortunately most of the residents in the city of atlantic city heeded that advice. unfortunately, as there will be the case there are always those who will not heed the warning and decide to stay. it's better to have options than not need them than to need options and not have them. we had a plan in place for those few residents who would decide at the last minute that they would not try to heed our warning and vacate the city but would try to hunker down, tough it out only to find that at some other time they wanted to flee. we had that contingency plan in place.

>> mayor lorenzo langford , mr. mayor, if you're free a little later in the morning, perhaps we'll try to get you and the governor on at the same time. appreciate your time this morning.

>> i would love nothing better than that, than to confront the governor mano-a-mano.

>> all right. we'll see if we can arrange that. thank