Beaten up by for being too diplomatic around Gov. Chris Christie, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) gave the governor both barrels over the guv’s attempt to twist his inner cabinet collapse into anti-Obama Fox News code speak – and the governor didn’t appreciate that, according to GOP sources.
Sweeney shot off a missive in response to Christie’s rant about brainless trolls in Washington, calling his comments “completely uncalled for, given that the State’s failure was ours’ and ours’ alone. It’s time for the Governor to man up and admit the mistake of his Administration, rather than engage in divisive rhetoric which only serves to damage our relationship with the federal government.”
According to Christie allies, the governor always understood that he and Sweeney shared the gentleman’s courtesy of giving each other a heads-up before pulling out their respective Bowie knives in the press.
This time, Christie apparently didn’t get that phone call.
Now, as the executive and legislative branches head into the fall and consideration of Christie’s ambitious agenda, which includes ethics, health, pension and school funding formula reforms, and jobs stimulus action, the formerly cozy Senate President and Governor are in choppy water.
Republican sources say Christie is convinced Sweeney is worried about Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono (D-Metuchen), who’s steadily carved out a comfort zone for herself within the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Like Sweeney a potential gubernatorial candidate , Buono from the start of the Republican governor’s tenure felt no compunction about criticizing the Christie administration.