Christie signals in budget address: I’m no lame duck, so let’s work together
Gov. Chris Christie — in his first major address to New Jersey after ending a presidential campaign that took him out of the state for the majority of the last few months — made a plea for the sort of bipartisanship he said has lead to great accomplishments in his time as governor.
In excepts released ahead of his second to last budget address, scheduled for 2 p.m., Christie was quick to remind the New Jersey Legislature — he's still the state's governor.
“Let me remind you – the election of our next governor is 630 days away. 630 days, are we going to waste those days on partisanship and politics?" he asked. "Or will you work with me to use those 630 days to help bring relief to our overburdened taxpayers?"
He told the Legislature: "We might not always agree on everything, but we've always been able to have the hard conversations we need to move our state forward. Let's do that now."
Christie highlighted acheivements during his tenure: A drop in unemployment from nearly 10 percent to 5.1 percent. A multi-billion deficit that's become an $800 Million surplus. Sharp decreases in how much property taxes increase year over year. Job growth.
“We did all of this together in the last 2,220 days," Christie said. "Regardless of our party differences. Regardless of the relentless selfishness of the special interests. Regardless of the constant negativity of the media. Are we willing to do this again over the last 630 days or will we succumb to politics, selfishness and negativity?"
Christie was expected to announce his agenda for addressing the failing transportation trust fund and for fixing the public pension and benefits system.