Governor Christie Delivers Sandy-Centric State Of The State [VIDEO/AUDIO]
From creating private sector jobs to reining in taxes and spending, Governor Chris Christie did take some time to list his accomplishment from last year, but his State of the State Address was primarily focused on Sandy and the State's recovery from the super-storm..
"Just three months ago, we were proceeding normally with our lives, getting ready for a national election and the holidays to follow. Then Sandy hit," says Christie. "Sandy may have damaged our homes and our infrastructure, but it did not destroy our spirit."
The Governor thanked first responders, the National Guard, emergency management experts, cabinet members and citizens who prepared us for the storm and kept us safe in its aftermath.
He also told stories of the people he met as he toured the state following Sandy. The most poignant one was about a 9-year-old girl named Ginjer.
Christie explained, "Having a nine-year-old girl myself, her height and manner of speaking was immediately familiar and evocative. Having confronted so many crying adults at that point I felt ready to deal with anything. Then Ginjer looked at me, began to cry and told me she was scared. She told me she had lost everything; she had lost her home and her belongings. She asked me to help her."
The Governor continued, "As my eyes filled with tears, I took a deep breath and thought about what I would say to my Bridget if she said the same thing to me. If she had the same look on her face. If she had the same tears in her eyes. I asked her where her mom was and she pointed right behind her. I asked her if her dad was ok. She told me he was. So I told Ginjer, you haven't lost your home; you've just lost a house. A house we can replace, your home is with your mom and dad. I hugged her and told her not to cry-that the adults are in charge now and there was nothing to be afraid of anymore. Ginjer is here today-we've kept in touch-and I want to thank her for giving voice to New Jersey's children during Sandy and helping to create a memory of humanity in a sea of despair."
After telling Ginjer's story, Christie walked from behind his podium, walked to the little girl and dramatically hugged and kissed her.
"In this year ahead, let us prove the truth of the words I spoke to Ginjer that day," says the Governor. "Let's put aside destructive politics in an election year. Let's put aside accusations and false charges for purely political advantage. Let's work together to honor the memories of those lost in Sandy. Let's put the needs of our most victimized citizens ahead of the partisan politics of the day. Let's demonstrate once again the resilience of New Jersey's spirit."
Christie says just when we were coming back from the national recession, Sandy disrupted our economic life. Cars weren't bought, homes weren't sold, and factories couldn't produce. He says common sense tell us Sandy hurt New Jersey's economy. He admits that some losses we will never get back - electric power that wasn't produced, visitors who didn't come to our casinos or our downtown centers.
The Governor explains, "There is no question that Sandy hit us hard, but there is also no question that we're fighting back with everything we've got……… let me make this point clearly and unequivocally. Despite the challenges that Sandy presents for our economy, I will not let New Jersey go back to our old ways of wasteful spending and rising taxes. We will deal with our problems but we will continue to do so by protecting the hard earned money of all New Jerseyans first and foremost. We will not turn back."
Christie is urging lawmakers to put aside partisan politics and work as a team to return New Jersey to its pre-Sandy greatness.
"The adults are in charge," insists the Governor. "Let's accomplish the mission of rebuilding our battered state and restoring the hope and the faith and the trust of our people that government can work in a bipartisan way to restore our great way of life to all New Jerseyans."
Courtesy Governor's Office