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Bill Clinton stumps for Corzine

Former President Bill Clinton, speaking to about 1,100 Democratic activists yesterday, said the electorate's state of mind this year is: "I'm angry and I'm hurting. This is tough. Throw the rascals out."

Former President Bill Clinton addresses Democratic activists in Collingswood as Gov. Corzine stands beside him. Clinton said voters' troubles were keeping them from focusing on Corzine's record as governor, which he praised.
Former President Bill Clinton addresses Democratic activists in Collingswood as Gov. Corzine stands beside him. Clinton said voters' troubles were keeping them from focusing on Corzine's record as governor, which he praised.Read moreMEL EVANS / Associated Press

Former President Bill Clinton, speaking to about 1,100 Democratic activists yesterday, said the electorate's state of mind this year is: "I'm angry and I'm hurting. This is tough. Throw the rascals out."

Clinton, speaking at the Collingswood Ballroom, said voters' own troubles were keeping them from focusing on Gov. Corzine's record of getting health insurance for children, providing paid family leave, and paying companies to hire workers during the recession.

Clinton was a warm-up act for President Obama, who is scheduled to hold a rally for Corzine in northern New Jersey today. On Monday, Vice President Biden stumped for the governor.

Yesterday, Clinton implored the mostly Camden County-area activists to talk "one-on-one" with their friends, let them vent their frustrations, and give them the space to think about the issues in the race.

"The voters of this state - they always do the right thing if they've got the space to do it," he said. "People are hurting. They are vulnerable. They are worried about how to feed their kids and make their mortgage payments and send their kids to college and how they're going to deal with all this."

Clinton also criticized Republican gubernatorial candidate Christopher J. Christie, saying his idea of fixing health insurance was to let women risk radical mastectomies rather than get mammograms. Christie has called for no-frills insurance policies for uninsured people and vigorously denied they would cut mammograms.

Corzine has seized on the mammogram issue to drive independent women voters away from Christie, who until recently was leading Corzine in independent polls.

Christie spent yesterday speaking with taxpayers in Mercerville.

"The final two weeks [of the race] are about who is going to be the better governor to help New Jerseyans suffering through the highest unemployment rate in 33 years, an unbearable tax structure, and record home foreclosures," Christie spokeswoman Maria Comella said. "That's what people want to talk about."

Christie yesterday also called on the wealthy governor to release financial records from his private foundation. Past disclosures have shown Corzine has made contributions to ministers and political figures who have turned out voters for him on Election Day. His campaign said he would not be releasing the foundation's records until after the Nov. 3 election.

As the governor's race winds down, an independent poll released yesterday showed Corzine and Christie were showing their battle scars and independent Chris Daggett was looking better to voters.

Christie and Corzine were tied at 39 percent among likely voters, with Daggett at 14 percent, according to the Monmouth University/Gannett NJ poll. Last month, Christie was polling at 43 percent to Corzine's 40 percent, with Daggett at 8 percent.

The poll of 1,004 likely voters was conducted between Thursday and Sunday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Daggett said the poll showed he could win, even though he does not have a party machine to drive voters to the polls.

"With the Democratic and Republican candidates continuing to spend millions of dollars on negative advertising and the politics of character assassination, more and more voters are responding to our positive message of change," Daggett said. "We believe the polls are not capturing the depth of anger among independents who do not always vote, but are planning to vote for us."

The three major candidates are scheduled to appear at Newark radio station WBGO-FM (88.3) for a debate at 8 p.m. tomorrow, which will be simulcast on WHYY-FM (90.9).