Since coining the term “Corzine Democrats” a week ago to describe his Democratic opponents on the tax cut issue, Gov. Chris Christie has invoked the name of former governor Jon Corzine as part of his repertoire at town hall meetings.
“We know the type of leadership, or lack of leadership, that he and his colleagues provided to this state over the time they were here,” said Christie. “More tax increases, nearly $9 billion in tax increase while he was governor. We can’t take it anymore. And so now’s the time to have a fight everybody. And this summer’s gonna be fight time. It’s gonna be fight time this summer.”
Christie held his second town hall in 20 hours in Mahwah this morning to pound that message home. The budget the legislatures sent him this week defers a tax cut until next year. And in a separate bill, Democrats voted to reinstate the millionaire’s tax. A surcharge on incomes above $1 million.
Christie likened Democrats to addicts, saying they were addicted to tax increases. “So you know what it’s like when someone’s addicted to something and you don’t get them. For 891 days, they’re on the floor, they’re sweating, they’re twitching, they need it bad. So what did they do this week? They passed a $800 million income tax increase.”
Democrats believe they sent the governor a prudent budget, but Christie says they’re playing politics with the tax cut. He urged his audience to vacation at the Jersey Shore this summer and managed to work one of his famous lines into that message. “So if you see these Corzine Democrats on the beach, I want you to go up to them and I want you to say: ‘I am here on behalf of our governor, get the hell off the beach and get back to Trenton and vote my tax cut.’”
Christie was thwarted this week by the Democrats in Trenton who didn’t give him the immediate tax cut he proposed. Now he’s trying to turn that against them, and he’s got the bigger megaphone.
Reporting from Mahwah, Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron files this report.