Gov. Chris Christie tossed cold water on the education platform of his Democratic rival, about 24 hours after it was unveiled.

Governor Chris Christie (Tim Larsen/Governor's Office)

At a press event in Beach Haven on Wednesday, Christie said Barbara Buono's plan is "ridiculous" because "she has no way of paying for it." He set the plan's price tag at $3 billion, and that's not counting Buono's higher education proposals.

"The fact is that it's a pie in the sky idea that she's shown no way of paying for," said Christie.

Buono's education plan calls for the restoration of school funding, fixing dilapidated schools, and implementing universal preschool and full-day kindergarten across New Jersey.

"While Chris Christie dismisses preschool as glorified babysitting, research proves that early education works to close the achievement gap," said Buono in a web video.

David Turner, a spokesman for the Buono campaign, issued the following statement in response to Governor Christie's comments on Senator Buono's education plan:

"Senator Buono has a record of prioritizing funding for education. During the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, she was able protect New Jersey's public education system from cuts while still slashing $4.5 billion from the budget.


"The Governor's newfound zeal on funding is interesting as he did not know nor care about the costs of a special election and has pushed a tax plan without any idea how to pay for it. He has coddled millionaires and doled out billions in unaccountable tax breaks to corporations while our schools have barely recovered from his devastating $1 billion cut.


"As Senator Buono has consistently said, a budget is about priorities and her plan puts students first. Rather than protect millionaires and subsidize corporations without accountability, she will invest this money into our state's future by fully funding the School Funding Reform Act and expanding high quality early childhood education."

Governor Christie said Buono's and other Democrats' only answer to more spending is an increased tax rate for millionaires and everyone else.

"The millionaire's tax, by their estimate, raises $650 million," Christie said. "And she put forward a $3 billion program."