WASHINGTON - Without uttering the words "gay marriage," Gov. Christie delivered a fiery attack on Democrats for pushing ahead with a same-sex marriage bill when the state should be focused on job creation.
Christie used the annual New Jersey Chamber Of Commerce dinner in Washington DC, where he was keynote speaker, to trash legislative Democrats -- even though few, if any, were in attendance.
The annual dinner is really a two-day event that begins with a chartered, alcohol-themed train ride from the north (I got on in Philly) and culminates with a series of speeches from New Jersey politicians. Generally, the state's two senators and a congressman speak; this year, it was just the Christie show. And neither Sens. Frank Lautenberg nor Robert Menendez -- Democrats who despise the governor -- even attended the dinner.
Many state legislators, Democrats and Republicans, also skipped the dinner and instead went out on the town to visit various dinners and parties sponsored by lobbyists and politicians.
"Lots of people making priorities about what the most important priority for Trenton is," Christie said in a clear reference to Democrats' top priority of the year, the legalization of gay marriage.
"Our mission is to put people back to work and not play the politics being played around in the halls of Trenton right now."
Christie said he wants to cut income taxes so New Jerseyans have some money to put away for a college education, or "to go to the Jersey Shore next summer, take a deep breath, and enjoy their families."
Instead, he said, his political enemies are trying to embarrass him and hurt him politically with social issues, all the while doing nothing about the economy.
"I gotta believe that the people in Jersey are shaking their heads watching what's going on in Trenton this week talking about what the number one priorities of the Legislature are," he said. "[Democrats] want to play around on social issues to try to make people look bad politically. How about saving that until we get people everyone back to work in New Jersey?"
The exhortation was greeted with tepid applause.