Christie crosses lines with other governors – Philly.com

Posted: March 14, 2011 by scaryhouse in Uncategorized

By Matt Katz, Inquirer Trenton Bureau

Gov. Christie is under fire for…

Through the years, the 50 members of the ultraexclusive club had an understanding: No trash-talking in public.

Then Chris Christie came along.

The Republican governor of New Jersey has, in just the last several weeks, gotten into spats with fellow governors – all Democrats – from Connecticut, Illinois, and Maryland.

“It’s not done. It’s just really not done,” said University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato, who studies gubernatorial history.

“The governors, as a group, are very different from Congress. They view each other as colleagues. Unless they run for president against each other, they’re not really competitors,” Sabato said.

Christie called Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn a “disaster,” threatened to take jobs from Connecticut’s Dan Malloy, and said Maryland’s Martin O’Malley spits “pabulum.”

But Christie’s commentary on his counterparts is not strictly partisan. He has repeatedly heaped praise on two of the best-known Democratic governors: Andrew Cuomo in New York, the “son of a liberal icon,” as Christie says, and “for, God’s sake, even Jerry Brown” in California.

Christie quoted both governors in last month’s budget address to support his larger point that other states are following New Jersey and closing deficits by cutting into public-employee benefits instead of raising taxes.

“These ideas are not red or blue. They are the black and white of truth,” Christie said.

Although he rarely mentions the new governor in Pennsylvania, Republican Tom Corbett, Christie regularly cites Cuomo, who is “doing a great job,” he has said.

Most recently, Christie’s staff noted that Cuomo is pursuing a cap on school superintendent pay that is almost identical to the one Christie enacted last year.

Christie’s spokesman, Michael Drewniak, said the debate over fiscal responsibility was “not partisan.”

“Some governors get it, speak plainly about the issues, and propose real action and reform, and Gov. Christie has taken note of them publicly,” Drewniak wrote in an e-mail. Others, however, have “politicized” Christie’s goals “in a transparent attempt to win favor with special interests.”

Neither Brown nor Cuomo has reciprocated the praise or indicated that he sees New Jersey as a model for governance. Cuomo’s press office did not return a request for comment.

via Christie crosses lines with other governors – Philly.com.

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