Archive: January, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Key Mitt Romney surrogate Chris Christie, stepping into the charred aftermath of Romney's 12-point loss in the South Carolina primary last night, lit into Newt Gingrich on NBC's "Meet The Press" before he was even asked a set-up question.
Christie appeared on the program right after Gingrich, and he seized on the characterization Gingrich had just made about his position as a "strategic advisor" with mortgage giant Freddie Mac, in which he earned $1.6 million.
"Strategic advisor? That is the oldest Washington dodge in the book. That's because he didn't want to register as a lobbyist...First he said he was a historian, now he says he was a strategic advisor...he was using his influence that he obtained in public office to try to help get paid $1.6 million."
For the full story about this in today's paper, click here.
Delivering his State of the State speech in front of both chambers of the Legislature and a live television audience, Christie pledged this afternoon to reduce income taxes by 10 percent across the board -- a proposal that got a standing ovation from Republican lawmakers and even a handful of Democrats on the other side of the aisle.
Christie also said he would restore the Earned Income Tax Credit for the working poor, which he had cut in 2010. He said:
Oprah Winfrey visited the Christies at home for an hour-long show, "Oprah's Next Chapter," that aired last night on Oprah's OWN channel. Although there was nothing groundbreaking, we learned a few interesting things (not the least of which is that 2008 Obama supporter Oprah is seriously enamored with Christie):
Christie on Romney
"I have a real sense that Gov. Romney has a real depth of knowledge and experience and understanding about government and business. But he doesn’t really communicate it all that well. I think people have a hard time connecting at times with him. And so his challenge is going to be how to connect with people, how to make them feel what I believe he feels -- which is to do great things for the country."
In case you missed it, Gov. Christie was in Camden yesterday to sign the Democrat-sponsored Urban Hope Act, which creates a new kind of hybrid school in Camden, Trenton and Newark. Lots of serious political tyes were in the house yesterday -- including Camden Mayor Dana Redd, who later told my colleague Claudia Vargas that despite the potential pay-to-play loopholes in the new law, "I'm not going to support any entity that comes in to milk Camden. We've been milked enough, there's nothing left.”
Here's my story:
A new kind of hybrid school is coming to Camden - part for-profit, part public, part nonprofit, and intended to begin to bridge the achievement gap between students in New Jersey's cities and in its suburbs.
Updated at 3:46 p.m. with comment from governor's office.
I was in the back of a cavernous gymnasium at a Mitt Romney rally in Exeter, New Hampshire on Sunday night when two female protesters interrupted a speech by Romney booster Gov. Christie. They yelled: "Christie kills jobs! Christie kills jobs!" Christie's response, which I wrote about here, became the news of the night:
"Really?" Christie asked.
Monday was a prolonged session of lawmaking, in which more than 100 bills were sent to Gov. Christie's desk (read all about the new laws in the pipeline in our story here).
Moments after the final bill passed, Assemblyman Alex DeCroce (R., Morris) - the leader of the Republicans in the Assembly and a long-time mentor to Christie - died in the Statehouse. Here's our story in today's paper:
Hours after a veteran lawmaker died in the Statehouse, business turned upside down Tuesday, with the normally celebratory swearing-in of legislators taking a mournful tone and Gov. Christie delivering a eulogy instead of the scheduled State of the State address.
Trenton Democrats announced this afternoon that their top priority for 2012 is to send a bill legalizing gay marriage to Gov. Christie, setting up a showdown filled with political implications.
"Marriage equality represents the third leg on the stool of civil rights and equality in our country," Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D., Essex) said at a press conference beside several Democrats but no Republicans.
Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester), who voted against gay marriage in the past and now says he mistakenly did it for political reasons, didn't say whether the Democratic-controlled Legislature has enough votes to override a possible Christie veto. Instead, he said the veto-proof majority won't matter "if the governor would open his mind and his heart like I have, and get what this is, a civil rights issue."