Christie talks ethics as Sweeney pushes economy

SAYREVILLE – Gov. Chris Christie and Senate President Steve Sweeney, (D-3), West Deptford, wrangled over campaign slogans today, with the GOP governor highlighting ethics reform as a way to streamline New Jersey and the Democratic leader trying to ampliify the economy as his message.

“I will not be able to make the governor’s town hall meeting today, so I will miss the details of his plan for getting New Jersey’s economy moving again,” said Sweeney, delighting in being able to highlight the fact that Christie’s latest town hall tramp is built around ethic reform, not speciffically economic issues.

“I am assuming that is the reason he is having this town hall,” added the Senate president, feigning bewilderment. “After all, there is no way the governor could possibly continue to ignore New Jersey’s 9.4% unemployment rate or inability for small businesses to grow.

“I realize that the governor’s idea of a plan on the economy is sending the Lieutenant Governor criss-crossing New Jersey, glad-handling and doing photo-ops.  But the only businesses that is helping to grow are the gas stations where the Lieutenant Governor has to keep refueling her car.  And while creating even one new job is worthwhile in this climate, it’s not really a comprehensive plan, so I welcome whatever the governor presents today.

“If somehow the governor does not present a plan today, then I must, again, encourage him to join both the Democrats and Republicans in the Senate who have been and will continue to work on job creation and businesses growth legislation.”  

Christie mocked Trenton lawmakers, generating laughter when he told his audience that he was needed in the state capital today to provide “adult supervision.”

Trying to get an upper hand on being the moral authority, Christie criticized a bipartisan system that enables double dippers and lack of disclosure, which Democrats refused to refom.

“We’ve worked across the aisle,” he said, referring specifically to Sweeney. “It’s time to lead. A leader without followers is just a guy out for a walk.”

Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean (R-21), Westfield, laughed off the Democrats’ efforts to position themselves in the 11th hour as the pro-growth party. 

“For the past decade, Republicans across the state have been calling for, and proposing, policies that would create jobs and opportunities for middle-class New Jerseyans,” Kean said. “For years, Republicans have been asking for tax incentives for small business and other business friendly policies like the single sales factor that were just recently signed into law by Governor Christie.

“Instead, Trenton politicians have pursued policies that discourage job growth and have driven small businesses out of state by raising taxes over 115 times.  Until Governor Christie was elected, New Jersey was consistently ranked as the state ‘most unfriendly’ to business.”

“From the moment Governor Christie took office he has been advocating for economic development, by proposing initiatives that would attract and retain jobs in New Jersey.  For the past twenty months the Governor’s plan has created jobs and new opportunities for thousands of middle-class families. In fact, New Jersey has finally moved out of the cellar in the most recent rankings of business-friendly states. … I congratulate the Trenton Democrats for recognizing that their past policies have damaged the state’s economy and made the state uncompetitive in the region.” Christie talks ethics as Sweeney pushes economy