PATERSON – Gov. Chris Christie deviated some from his usual town hall script in Paterson, telling residents who overwhelmingly supported his Democratic challenger in 2009 that compromise should always trump partisan politics.
The governor brought his “boulevard of compromise” message to residents of the third largest city of the state Tuesday, telling people that D.C. lawmakers are out-of-step with their constituents because of the “most extreme elements” of each party.
“Unfortunately, compromise has become a dirty word,” Christie said inside St. Luke’s Baptist Church.
“When the president and I worked together [after Superstorm Sandy] there were people in both of our parties who criticized the both of us,” he said. “My first job is for New Jersey.”
Christie’s message was received with a warm applause from an audience who laughed with the governor at the onset of the town hall when Christie joked about being in Democrat territory.
“There is almost as many people in this beautiful church here who actually voted for me in 2009,” he joked, explaining former Gov. Jon Corzine snagged 80 percent of the votes during Christie’s first gubernatorial run for governor.
“Under the category: It could be worse,” he joked.
Speaking on the importance of compromise, the governor blamed gerrymandering for the gridlock in Washington, D.C. He said federal lawmakers have learned to worry only about winning their next primary – not the regular election.
“It makes people never reach across the aisle,” he said. “The political reality of it is that they don’t have incentive to do it.”