TRENTON — State Sen. Bill Baroni (R-Hamilton) thinks that if anyone can stay popular while having to enact deep budget cuts, it’s Gov. Christopher Christie.
“Governing is always difficult. Governing in tough times especially so. But Chris has real determination, and anyone who has ever doubted Chris’s determination has been proven wrong,” he said.
In the mean time, reaction to Christie’s speech was positive from members of both political parties. Baroni called it “terrific,” saying that the it laid out a chance for the state to “start all over again.” But he was also overcome with emotion on a personal level.
“It’s just great to see your friend up there. I’ve been friends with this guy since ’93. It’s good to see a friend up there having this success,” he said.
Former Assemblyman Guy Gregg (R-Long Valley) said the address was “a ‘we can do it’ speech, as opposed to a ‘screw you’ speech.”
And Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker – already talked about as a possible rivral to Christie in 2013 – said that the speech “hit a lot the important notes.”
“He noted that its’ not going to be an easy road, that there are difficult choices to make, and that he’s committed to a set of common ideals and principles,” said Booker. “…He wants to bring about change, and I’m grateful for that, but more importantly he was reaching out to everyone in the State of New Jersey.”
State Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Elizabeth) said he “agreed with everything [Christie] said” about bipartisan, nothing that he didn’t delve into specifics.
“He didn’t really mention any policy initiatives. He painted with a broad brush, and I’m all for it — working together and trying to get things done that have to be done.”
Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-West Deptford), who Christie engaged along with Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-East Orange) in a public display of unity on stage today, called today “Christie’s day to enjoy” in a statement issued shortly after Christie’s speech.
“While I am sure there will be areas in which we will differ philosophically, we must approach every issue pragmatically. The people of New Jersey are tired of political back-biting and scapegoating,” he said. “Divided government does not have to mean partisan gridlock. Together we must make the tough decisions that will move New Jersey forward and once again allow all residents to proudly call this great state home.”