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Christie Rips Moody’s ‘Negative’ Rating for NJ [AUDIO]

Moody’s Investor Service lowered New Jersey’s credit rating Wednesday from stable to negative.

Scott Eells/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Yesterday, Gov. Chris Christie blasted Moody’s in a Statehouse press conference.

“I’m sure Moody’s would have liked to have waited to see that unemployment went down six-tenths of one percent before they came out with their half-baked opinion of the state’s finances,” Christie said. “This is the single largest drop in monthly unemployment since the state started keeping statistics and we’re now below 8 percent in unemployment.”

The rating agency lowered the New Jersey’s outlook in part because tax collections are behind expectations due to a sluggish economic recovery. The state’s debt rating did not change.

“These folks have been wrong so often that they’re being sued all over the country by people who relied upon them,” Christie said. “I quite frankly think they should worry more about reforming their own internal stuff before they worry about evaluating folks again.”

In a statement Wednesday, state treasury spokesman Bill Quinn said increasing pension payments should be seen as a positive sign rather than a problem. He also pointed out that November’s tax revenue data, released Tuesday, showed the state outperforming projections by 1 percent.

New Jersey’s outlook could be returned to stable if tax revenues begin to consistently beat expectations or if the state finds ways to sustainably balance its budget, according to Moody’s.

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