NJ Dems Bash Christie’s State Of The State Address [AUDIO/VIDEO]
Response to Governor Chris Christie's State of the State Address yesterday was as rapid as it was typical. Democrats roundly criticized the speech. Republicans loved the speech.
Christie's primary address focus was rebuilding after super-storm Sandy. Democrats agree that is the top priority in the state right now and will be for a long while to come. It's not what the Governor said in his speech that has Democrats ticked off. It's what he didn't say.
"I assume we all heard the same speech," says Democratic State Senate President Steve Sweeney. "What did he say about the economy and how he's going to fix it? Speeches honestly, they're nice, but actions are honestly a hell of a lot better and this was a speech with no detail and no focus."
Assembly Democratic Leader Lou Greenwald says, "We cannot turn a blind eye to the reality that New Jersey's economy was struggling before Sandy and continues to struggle after the impact of the storm have passed."
"New Jerseyans still wait for the Governor to decide on the Democratic plan to increase the minimum wage," says Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver. "Low-income working families need this help. Women's health care funding remains cut. This must be corrected. We've heard nothing from Governor Christie on gun and ammunition control and tackling the crime and violence that plague many of our residents and business owners."
Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick says, "New Jersey has experienced a number of remarkable accomplishments over the past three years thanks to Governor Christie's ability to work with members of both political parties. That bipartisanship is more important than ever as we begin to rebuild our state after Hurricane Sandy battered New Jersey and tested our resiliency."
"The Governor offered a positive, bipartisan vision for our state that focuses on the nuts and bolts of what New Jerseyans want from their government: job creation, restoring our communities post-Sandy, quality education for our children and ending the culture of over-spending in Trenton," insists State Senate GOP Leader Tom Kean. "We also have gotten a glimpse of the Democrats' plans: a partisan, ideological agenda that is singularly focused on the next election and doing political battle with this Governor. Rather than working across the aisle, Trenton Democrats offer temper tantrums and gridlock any time the Governor disagrees with them."
State Senate Democratic Leader Loretta Weinberg says, "The Governor's speech was like listening to a tale of 'Alec in Wonderland' that described a separate reality. His emphasis on Hurricane Sandy ignores a record of failure that includes the highest unemployment rate in 35 years, the second highest rate of mortgage foreclosures, the fifth worst rate of growth in personal income, a poverty rate that has grown every year he's been in office and a shrinking middle class."
"While we all join with the Governor in our shared concern for the victims of Sandy, it is just plain wrong for him to use the storm as an excuse for his failed economic and fiscal record," says Senate Budget Committee chairman Paul Sarlo.
"The Governor has fallen far short of his unrealistic revenue projections for seven consecutive months, including the five months before Sandy hit. He created a budget deficit of $705 million that could grow as high as $2 billion if revenues continue to flatline. This is a man-made disaster-in-the-making that has nothing to do with the natural disaster of the hurricane."
State Senator Tony Bucco, the ranking Republican on the budget panel thinks, "We owe bipartisanship to those residents and communities that we applauded. We owe it to them this election year to continue improving the economy; bettering utilities response and preparedness during natural disasters; ensuring the best education for all New Jersey families; and confirming a constitutional Supreme Court that does not cause leading tax increases on families and is not composed based on special interests or partisan grounds."
New Jersey Democratic gubernatorial candidate and State Senator Barbara Buono says, "Before severe weather battered our state, New Jersey was already suffering from an economic storm - millions of residents struggling under the highest unemployment rate in three decades; property taxes that have soared by as much as 20 percent; public schools that are without the resources they need to succeed; and colleges and universities that are increasingly pricing our young people out. We need leadership from a Governor who understands that lifting our state means going beyond meeting our responsibilities to the victims of Sandy. It also means giving our middle class and working poor the chance they need to build a better life for themselves and their children."
"The most important issue facing our state is how to rebuild the lives of so many people affected by Super Storm Sandy," says Assembly Republican Conference Leader Dave Rible. "The recovery effort has a direct impact on jobs and our economy. Governor Christie's pledge to keep this issue at the forefront of his agenda is reassuring to those whose spirits were bruised, but not broken. The residents of New Jersey are resilient and determined to rebound from this disaster. The Governor has earned the trust of the people in this state as he has set an example of how to lead. The public is depending on its elected officials to assist them in overcoming the challenges they face. This is a critical time when we are called to unite and not divide."
The Governor's office and all 120 seats in the State legislature are up for grabs this November. It would appear from the reactions above that election season is already in full swing.