Republican Gov. Chris Christie has been asked to apologize for referring to the first black female leader of the state Assembly by race and gender, not by name, during a church-hosted meeting. Christie, who's white, told an audience Tuesday that an "African-American female speaker of the Assembly" is blocking a vote on a school voucher bill that would let children in failing districts attend classes elsewhere.
Democratic Speaker Sheila Oliver later said she was "appalled" that Christie injected race into the discussion on education. Oliver, who represents a district with some failing schools, has said she believes the state should make a larger investment in public education.
The flap comes at an inopportune time for Christie, who has been courting the black and Latino vote for his re-election bid in November.