Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Blowback begins after Sweeney calls Christie a 'punk'

But in his absence Christie's office released this statement statement today: "The Governor believes the language used was inappropriate and disrespectful to the office, but he continues to stand ready to work with Senator Sweeney and the Legislature in a bipartisan manner to get things done for the people of New Jersey."

Blowback begins after Sweeney calls Christie a 'punk'

Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Gov. Christie discuss their deal on filling vacant seats on the state Supreme Court earlier this year (RICH SCHULTZ/Associated Press)
Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Gov. Christie discuss their deal on filling vacant seats on the state Supreme Court earlier this year (RICH SCHULTZ/Associated Press) RICH SCHULTZ / Associated Press

How's this for a switch? The tough-talking governor is saying someone else's language crossed the line.

On Sunday the Star-Ledger quoted an angry State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a South Jersey Democrat who has in the past crossed the aisle to work with Gov. Christie. But after Christie's cuts to the Democratic budget last week, Sweeney was so upset about that he called Christie a "bully," "punk" and "a rotten prick." In the Star-Ledger interview Sweeney also called the gov is a "mean old bastard who screws everybody."

Christie is now on vacation, and will be in Idaho this week kicking it with the likes of Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg, Rupert Murdoch and Bill Gates at an exclusive conference.

But in his absence Christie's office released this statement statement today: "The Governor believes the language used was inappropriate and disrespectful to the office, but he continues to stand ready to work with Senator Sweeney and the Legislature in a bipartisan manner to get things done for the people of New Jersey."

More coverage
 
Gov. Christie 'bully, punk,' snarls Dem boss on N.J. budget cuts
 
We have a budget -- and a rumble

The New Jersey Republican party went a step further: "Senate President Sweeney’s comments were unbecoming for someone in his position and he should immediately apologize for his remarks that he now admits were over the top. Sweeney’s unfortunate language has no place in today’s political discourse and only reinforces the negative impression New Jerseyans have of the Democratically controlled Legislature."

Sweeney apparently stands by his words. We have an interview scheduled with him tomorrow, and we'll be asking whether this fury is for real -- or an acted media strategy, as one liberal has suggested.

Got any ideas for questions we should ask the senate prez?

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