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Governor Christie Touts Bipartisanship In East Hanover

Tim Larsen, Governor's Office

Governor Christie said he won’t make apologies for working with Democrats in the state legislature.

“Newark Mayor Corey Booker and I disagree about plenty of things from a policy perspective…and both of us will speak our minds…but that doesn’t mean that we can’t work together to get things done” Christie told a town hall at a firehouse in East Hanover.

He said it takes time to build relationships with the other side of the aisle.

“That’s what I’ve tried to do over the last two and a half years…we have divided government here…with a Republican governor and a Democratic legislature and so I can’t just sit back here and hold my breath, we would get nowhere.”

Christie said there is evidence that its gotten done.

“We have balanced two budgets without raising taxes on the people of New Jersey, a two-percent property tax cap and reforming the pension and benefit system.  We have done all this together in a bipartisan way…and that’s historic.”

Christie said he worked with plenty of democrats, including Senate President Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Oliver, Senator Stack and Senator Cunningham.

“These people put political party aside and got to work with me on getting this stuff done.”

But he then singled out the two democratic chairs of the budget committee in the legislature, Assemblyman Lou Greenwald and Senator Paul Sarlo.

“Last year they put $816 million in additional spending in the state budget and had no tax revenues to pay for it.  They knew their numbers were fake and they sent it to me anyway purely for politics” Christie said.

Even though April tax collection revenues are down and are increasing at half the rate necessary to meet the governor’s 4.8% projected growth this year, Christie turned the focus of his town hall to Sarlo and Greenwald.

“These same jokers are back now…they want us to trust them on their revenue numbers..and its coming from the same people who last year were completely wrong and wanted to inflate the budget over $800 million with no way to pay for it.”

“We’re going to have a fight here over the next 46 days you can count on that” Christie added.

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