Christie issues tough talk, warns of economic disaster
April 22nd, 2014
09:21 PM ET
8 months ago

Christie issues tough talk, warns of economic disaster

Washington (CNN) – Gov. Chris Christie offered some strong rhetoric to his colleagues from New Jersey Tuesday night, cautioning that if they don't further overhaul the state's pension system, they could set their state on a path toward financial ruin.

"It's time to dig in and make a few people unhappy so that the greater good can be achieved," Christie said at an event in Washington.

The Republican governor was speaking at the 77th 'Walk to Washington' dinner hosted by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel.

The annual event brings together the state's Congressional delegation as well as business executives, state lawmakers and local political figures. The group departs Newark on a chartered train every year and makes multiple stops along the way to the nation's capital to pick up more attendees before dinner.

While the event is considered a big networking opportunity for New Jersey leaders, Christie was in no mood for merry-making.

"This speech is not about me coming here and patting you on the back and telling you how great you are. And I'm not here for you to tell me that either," he said to a silent room, though many Democrats were noticeably absent from the audience.

His remarks come after financial analysts at Standard & Poor's downgraded New Jersey's debt rating from AA- to A+ earlier this month. The group cited the state's budget practices and massive debt of $52 billion the state owes to the pension system. Christie, a potential presidential candidate, announced earlier this year that his budget includes a $2.25 billion payment to the pension fund, the state's largest payment ever.

Along with the Democratic-controlled legislature, his administration carried out major reforms to the pension system during his first term. But, as he has many times before in his recent town halls, the governor warned the state must make more fiscal changes.

"If we expect the people in Washington, D.C. to finally step up to the plate and meet their obligations and tell us the truth on both sides of the aisle, then we better do it ourselves in our own state, or we're nothing but hypocrites," he said.


Filed under: Chris Christie
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Tony in Maine

    The base of the Republican Party would return to 1814 quite happily. It was a time when men were white and all others knew their place because it was the law. The base controls the primaries because ordinary Republicans are too busy or too righteous to pay attention to politics. The result – even those who were once moderate conservative politicians must sound like raving eyeball spinning lunatics to curry favor witrh the raving eyeball spinning lunatics who will choose candidates for the general election.

    April 22, 2014 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  2. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Just shut up Chris! If the economy was so bad, you would have re-instated the millionaire tax in NJ. No, you go after pensions for middle class public servants who PAID INTO THESE FUNDS FOR DECADES! You are no better than Walker, Kasich and Scott who are Kock Brother boot lickers like you!

    April 22, 2014 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  3. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    According to these creeps, there's always going to be a disaster unless they are elected. But after they get into office, the economic disaster occurs anyway. Who's kidding who?

    April 22, 2014 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  4. kurt

    The issue with pensions is if companies (or states) don't fund them. If you put the money in like you are supposed to... they work fine. If you don't and get behind... you get in this kind of mess... because you're spending money that should be invested to cover the pensions.

    My view is that the employer (be they a private or public entity) is on the hook for what they promised in pensions. I had a pension that was part of my employment agreement at my first job and my employer has to honor that... for what I earned up until they switched to a 401K. That 2500 dollar a year pension I earned for 4 years of work won't do much for me in 30 years, but that doesn't mean they get to cancel it just because they screwed up.

    Now GOING FORWARD I have no problem with them changing the system... but they can't do anything retroactively. Those people were working under an employment agreement that can't just be back-dated to fit their desires.

    April 22, 2014 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  5. S. B. Stein

    If Christie would get the ideological stick out of his butt and understand that taxes need to be raised. If the gas tax would be raised to help pay for the roads, that would make sense. Christie would rather call on breaking a contract that had been either signed by himself (or previous governors) rather than considering raising taxes on those that can most easily afford it. If you can't see both sides of the ledger, then you have no business being in a leadership roll like governor.

    April 22, 2014 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  6. Thomas

    Gov. Chris Christie offered some strong rhetoric to his colleagues from New Jersey Tuesday night, cautioning that if they don't do what he say's he will go on a hunger strike , and if that doesn't work , he will have no choice but to shut down the GW bridge for a pre Summer safety inspection .

    April 23, 2014 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  7. guest

    politicians and corporations have been stacking up money due to these pension funds, either from the money sitting in a single pool or from the efforts of the workers over a career of work. And now these clowns want to renege on paying it out to the people that put the work in. How can anyone say with a straight face that these politicians are not criminal? How can anyone with a straight face say that this is the direction our country should head, politicians like Christie need to be in jail. I am sure a lot more than 20000 dollars has changed hands here, and that apparently will get you 50 years in prison (unless you are tom delay or any other rich guy)

    April 23, 2014 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  8. Michael MN

    So is that only for state workers or is the pension of people in political office sacred and only the average joe worker should live in poverty

    April 23, 2014 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  9. Marie MD

    Please Christie, shut up!
    You are everywhere pretending that the bridgegate scandal is a thing of the past.
    I am sick and tired of looking at your ugly face during the day. Take a break and go eat a donut!

    April 23, 2014 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  10. NamejJK. SFL. VOTE THE GOP ANTI-HEALTHCARE PARTY OUT iN NOVEMBER

    Well , here in floridas 19 th district the GOP the teaparty GOP STOOGE curt clauson to replace the coke head GOP wash out tray radal. If you think the Florida voters are going to send another teaparty OBSTRUCTIONEST to Washington after these same GOP teaparty SLUGS cost us 24 BIZlLION DOLLARS in16 days and then cry about fisical responsibility are going to find out that the GOP JOKE is on THEM in November. Do you actually think the voters are going to vote for two more years of GOP obstruction AND incompetence, I don't think so!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 23, 2014 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  11. Gurgyl

    -–yes, some of these fiscal obligations must be met. For these reforms are needed. SS is abused, so is disability, GI etc. Strong reforms with earmarks, voter reforms, immigration too.

    April 23, 2014 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    That is true.......for all of the states, and everywhere else, as well.

    April 23, 2014 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  13. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Keep talking big Christie. You still won't be POTUS. My opinion is Christie will skate. Whether guilty or not, he will skate. He is the only hope the GOP has and they are desperate to regain the WH. They will do whatever it takes to win. They will lie, cheat and steal to win. His supporters keep saying see there's nothing tying him to the traffic jams. And to that I say he has to be the most clueless, arrogant, pompous governor in the country to not know what your immediate staff is up to.

    I think they're going to put Mitt at the top of the ticket with Christie as VP with the promise that he gets the top position in 2024.
    Just my opinion.

    April 23, 2014 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  14. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    Speaking of fiscal responsibility, why'd you waste taxpayer money on a frivolous inquiry into yourself?

    April 23, 2014 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  15. Malory Archer

    john

    What did Condoleza Rice accomplish? Nothing.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Now now, that's not true. She went shoe shopping and took in a couple of Broadway shows while New Orleans drowned. She also lied to the 9/11 commission when she stated that "nobody could have imagined they would use airplanes as weapons" when that was EXACTLY what they "imagined" when they insulted their Italian hosts during the August 2001 G-8 summit by implying the Carabinieri were incapable of keeping the city safe and forcing officials to close the harbor so they could house the dauphin prince on a yacht anchored in the middle of said harbor and demanding that all of the roads leading to the entire City of Milan be shut down and air traffic within 100 miles.

    April 23, 2014 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  16. Tampa Tim

    Krispy is going to take the republican way out of the pension crisis: make the police, firemen teachers, county, municipal, and state workers pay for his ineptness. How else will he be able to pay for the tax cuts to his big donors?

    April 23, 2014 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  17. Tampa Tim

    I know it is not much, but having the taxpayers cough up over a million dollars for the phony report from Krispy's legal team, the $5 million Krispy campaign ad encouraging people to come to Jersey, the lost $500 million education grant money lost because your administration couldn't meet deadlines didn't help.

    April 23, 2014 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    @The Republican Party Is Dead To Me:

    According to these creeps, there's always going to be a disaster unless they are elected. But after they get into office, the economic disaster occurs anyway. Who's kidding who?
    ------------------

    Awful, isn't it, the manner in which these Republican use fear and intimidation to pander for votes? Makes one wonder what has happened to the American voting block that allow themselves to be so intimidated by nothing more than a bunch of circus clowns pretending to be "top circus clown".

    April 23, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  19. O'drama ya Mama

    "It's time to dig in and make a few people unhappy so that the greater good can be achieved," Christie said at an event in Washington.

    And as long as the unhappy ones are only Democrats the GOP may let me run for President.

    April 23, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  20. Gunderson

    Well, Aw, Humm,
    Now you tell me the Nanny State isn't working !! But you promised if I voted for you you would take care of me. I voted for you the last 100 years and now you tell me I am on my own! Wahhah !!!

    April 23, 2014 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  21. Silence DoGood

    @Gunderson
    Well, Aw, Humm,
    Now you tell me the Nanny State isn't working !! But you promised if I voted for you you would take care of me. I voted for you the last 100 years and now you tell me I am on my own! Wahhah !!!
    ---------–
    Ahhh – the 100 years whine again. Women voters take note of the time conservative want to return to: 100 years ago, turn in your voter registrations cards and get back in the kitchen!

    April 23, 2014 10:18 am at 10:18 am |