Governor Chris Christie criticized New Jersey's longest-serving U.S. Senator,  Frank Lautenberg today.

At a town hall in Manchester, Ocean County, Christie says he doesn't disagree with those who say that the 88 year-old Democrat should retire.

"I will give you the best example of why Washington, D.C. can't work and his name is Frank Lautenberg."

The governor says lawmakers in Washington need to take a page out of the state's playbook on bipartisanship.

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."

"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 supports the plan, as do several key south Jersey Democratic official, including Senate President Steve Sweeney.

The governor called on Lautenberg to call Sweeney and apologize and take him out to dinner.

"Frank Lautenberg should understand that the state comes first and the people of New Jersey come first" said Christie.

Some have signed a letter calling Lautenberg's remarks "bizarre and misguided."

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)