POLITICS & GOVERNMENT

Christie is Back in Town Hall Form as New Poll Numbers Come Out

For the governor, it was all about good news today, like this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer poll.

“The week before I was elected, 19 percent of the people of New Jersey felt New Jersey was moving in the right direction. Nineteen percent, less than one in five,” Christie said. “New poll just came out this morning — 53 percent of New Jerseyans now believe their state’s moving in the right direction.”

Christie was in the round this morning, the first time a sitting governor had ever visited Elmwood Park, once known as East Paterson.

He used it primarily to lay out a fall agenda and to lambaste the legislature for dragging its feet on cutting taxes, on ethics bills, on closing a loophole in the 2 percent property tax cap.

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Democratic leaders won’t pass an income tax cut, he complained, but they’ll lard on spending wherever possible.

“The same people who wanted to spend $1.3 billion more that only didn’t get spent because I cut it. I line-item vetoed it out line by line out of the budget. Those same people now say but we don’t have enough money to spend $250 million on a tax cut,” Christie said. “This is what this means everybody — they’ll never give you a tax cut.”

Another target was ending the practice of dual office holding. Christie singled out a Hudson County senator with three public jobs.

“$309,000 a year for Sen. Nick Sacco — Sen. Sacco, Mayor Sacco, Assistant Superintendent Sacco — his business card must be this big,” Christie said.

He warned that with a gubernatorial and legislative election next year, Democrats will try even harder to thwart him.

“They don’t like me all that much,” Christie said. “And they’d like to see me go someplace else, far far way.”

He predicted they’ll block at least one of his next Supreme Court nominees, called that Court the last bastion of liberalism in the state and promised to keep pushing.

“I ain’t doing this to put on a show,” Christie said. “I am doing this because watch what’s happened over the last three years — we’ve gotten results.”

The governor ended his 91st town hall with a soliloquy on why he’s such a fighter. It’s not because he likes to fight, he said, but because in politics that’s the only way to get things done.

Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron reports from Elmwood Park.