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

Gov. Chris Christie told Fox News yesterday 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.

The amateur video of Romney casting 47 percent of Americans as believing they are "victims" who feel entitled to government assistance has burned up the Internet and aired continually on cable television.

The ensuing controversy has thrown Romney's campaign off track in a tight race with President Barack Obama and with less than seven weeks until Election Day.