Christie finds Mulshine associate in the crowd, attacks his school cut argument

HOPATCONG – Gov. Chris Christie selected – purposefully, he said – a Basking Ridge man who he said contributes to Star Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine’s articles. Then the governor proceeded to pick apart, piece by piece, the man’s (and Mulshine’s) argument that the governor should have made his school cuts last year based on state aid, not a percentage of the district budget.

“I know you’re a star in Paul Mulshine’s columns” but Mulshine, Christie said during his town hall meeting here, doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

The man’s name is Doug Wicks, and Wicks said the governor was being unfair by cutting into school budgets last year without first cutting into the supplemental aid that the state supplies to schools, but Christie said it’s a losing legal argument,

“It’s easy to sit at a computer in Monmouth County,” Christie said, but the Supreme Court would have undoubtedly told him that aid-based cuts would have a “disproportionate affect on the Abbott districts.”

“What guys like Paul Mulshine would like me to do is play Russian roulette,” he said, that would undoubtedly cost the state in a losing court fight. “Just do it, just do it.”

“I did five percent of the budget,” Christie said, which he expects will pass the state Supreme Court investigation. “If it ends up losing…what do you think that 10 percent in aid would have done?”

After teeing off on Hicks, he softened after his Supreme Court overhaul spiel.

“I love the fact that you work all the numbers and the math,” he said to Hicks. “(But) just by saying you’re going to make it so does not make it so.”

Christie finds Mulshine associate in the crowd, attacks his school cut argument