Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's remark dismissing the 47 percent of Americans who don't pay income taxes is generating reaction from Republicans and Democrats in New Jersey.

Mitt Romney (David Calvert, Getty Images)

Gov. Chris Christie told Fox News on Wednesday that Romney's comment does not reflect what's in the candidate's heart. Christie, a popular GOP surrogate campaigner, says Romney meant to say that he wants to empower people to better their lives.

Meanwhile, Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez's campaign called on his Republican challenger to denounce Romney's comments. State Sen. Joe Kyrillos chaired Romney's 2008 campaign in New Jersey, and Romney headlined a fundraiser for Kyrillos in April.

Kyrillos' campaign manager says his candidate has a plan to improve the economy and create jobs. He didn't address Romney's remark directly.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)