Governor Christie Calls Frank Lautenberg “Partisan Hack” [AUDIO]
"I will give you the best example of why Washington, D.C. can't work and his name is Frank Lautenberg" Christie said early on into a town hall speech Thursday in Manchester.
Earlier this week, Lautenberg wrote a letter to the U.S. education secretary requesting a federal review of a plan to merge Rutgers-Camden with Rowan University. The senator said the plan was "crafted to benefit powerful political interests without regard for the impact on students."
Christie supports the plan, as do several key south Jersey Democratic officials, including Senate President Steve Sweeney.
"I will not make any apologies for working with like-minded Democrats to make progress in New Jersey. We are not going to listen to partisan hacks like Frank Lautenberg."
Christie said Lautenberg should be ashamed of himself for continuing to play partisan politics.
"You would think by the time you reach 88 years-old that you would learn that the country should come first, the state should come first, not your political party. Unfortunately with Senator Lautenberg, any Democrat that dares to work with a Republican is disloyal and suspect of back-room deals."
South Jersey Democrats, led by state Senate President Steve Sweeney, signed a letter that labels Lautenberg's remarks as "bizarre and misguided," `'uninformed and vengeful" and "utterly false."
Christie said Lautenberg also owes the Senate President an apology and dinner.
"I suggest that he take Senator Sweeney out to dinner so he can teach him a few things about being a bipartisan leader and someone also suggested that Lautenberg retire...and l don't disagree."
A Lautenberg spokesman said the attacks on the senator were meant "to distract from the back-room merger deal that they're trying to keep hidden from the public."
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)