The Democrats continued their attack Friday in the wake of Gov. Chris Christie’s comments to “take the bat out” against Sen. Loretta Weinberg for drawing her pension while still serving in the Legislature.
Assemblywomen Valerie Vainieri Huttle, (D-37), Englewood, and Connie Wagner, (D-38), Paramus, on Friday sent letters to every New Jersey legislator asking them to publicly denounce what they called Christie’s threatening language toward Weinberg.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Christie was reacting to Weinberg’s criticism of him for not being more critical of Joe DiVincenzo, who is Essex County Executive and taking his pension. Christie urged the media to “take the bat out’’ and be critical of Weinberg.
The Democratic lawmakers Friday urged the governor to make a public retraction and apology for his remark.
“The governor’s offensive and disturbing language has no place in decent society,” said Huttle in a release. “Let’s be clear – this isn’t an issue of partisan politics. This is an issue of the governor’s lack of common decency.”
Wagner jumped in as well saying, “The governor’s comments are indefensible. No one, no matter their role, should be advocating violence against a 76-year-old woman, or anyone for that matter.”
Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, (D- 34), East Orange, said Friday: “Gov. Christie has sadly found a new low in public discourse. The governor’s statement is a disturbing one that has no place in civil debate.
“Common decency dictates that people do not urge anyone to ‘take out the bat’ on another person. We would never condone such comments from anyone, let alone a governor.”
A spokesman for the governor said Friday that the issue has become fodder for partisan rhetoric.
“Anyone in the room at that moment knew it was about the media and its soft-pedal treatment of the issue of pension double-dipping by Senator Weinberg. Ratcheting it up beyond that is partisan politics at its worst and an attempt to divert attention from Senator Weinberg’s hypocrisy,” said spokesman Michael Drewniak.