Gov. Christie ‘pretty happy’ with progress since Sandy (WATCH)
Folks at the shore and leaders on the opposite end of the political spectrum may have a different opinion, but Gov. Chris Christie says he's "pretty happy" with the progress New Jersey has made in its rebuild since Superstorm Sandy three years ago.
"You're talking about fewer than 7,500 families now that are not back in their homes after we had 365,000 homes rendered uninhabitable," Christie said Monday night on New Jersey 101.5FM's Ask the Governor program. "When you compare it to what happened in Hurricane Katrina - they just had the 10-year anniversary and things are still not done down there."
Christie's work since Sandy was recently criticized by Sen. President Steve Sweeney as "piss-poor." Christie insisted Sweeney's harsh words are just his way of playing politics, suggesting Sweeney will be running for governor of New Jersey and needs to get the right people on his side.
"Steve (Sweeney) needs to prove to everyone that he's a partisan Democrat," Christie said.
He said aside from posing for photos, the Senate president knows little about Sandy recovery.
"The Senate president has been almost completely uninvolved in Sandy recovery except for photo ops," Christie said of Sweeney. "He knows about as much about Sandy recovery as I know about being an iron worker."
The governor said his goal is to make sure that by the time his term ends, all 7,500 of those remaining Sandy victims are back in their homes.
"So that means that if I'm elected president, the lieutenant governor will have to finish that pledge on behalf of our administration," Christie said.
About 12 percent of those responding to a Monmouth University poll on Sandy recovery said they don't expect to ever be able to return home, and two thirds said they felt forgotten by the state.
Meanwhile, the state is getting ready to take beachfront property owners to court over their reluctance to allow tall dunes to be built on their properties — a move meant to help buffer the Shore should another Sandy-level storm ever hit New Jersey again.
Christie made a big promise on the third anniversary of Sandy, just a few days ago — that before his time as governor comes to a close, "there will not be a family who is still hurting today who will not have their issues addressed," NJ.com reported.
That's just after Senate President Stephen Sweeney, joined by Sandy victims, accused the governor and state of doing a "piss poor"
Toniann Antonelli and Louis Hochman contributed to this story.