TRENTON – Sen. President Steve Sweeney this afternoon responded to the GOP criticism of his Sandy-related comments today.
“It’s unfortunate that the governor has found time to exploit my misstatement, which I apologized for immediately,” Sweeney said in a release.
The governor and other Republican lawmakers pounced on a statement Sweeney made during a press conference today in which he said: “We gave the governor a jobs package … [and] he vetoed it. And his job package was a hurricane. I guess he prayed a lot and got lucky a storm came.”
Sweeney immediately took back the comment. “I shouldn’t say that,” he said. “I apologize for saying that.”
Christie’s office and other GOP lawmakers issued statements condemning Sweeney’s remarks. Sweeney responded late this afternoon.
“The truth of the matter is the chief politicizer of Sandy has been none other than Chris Christie. There is no better example of this than his appearance on Saturday Night Live. I stand with every member of the Legislature and elected official in this state to help victims of Sandy to recover to a better place than before. But I will not stand by and allow this governor to turn a blind eye to the problems he has created or ignored during his three years in office.
“The fact of the matter is that the governor is using the storm to paper over his failure to lead on issues like job creation, economic growth, women’s issues, healthcare and housing. He has already said that the storm ‘erased the blackboard,’ meaning he is going to use it as an excuse to ignore every other issue in New Jersey. The hundreds of thousands of people out of work because this governor has failed to act don’t think the storm ‘erased the blackboard.’ The governor does not get to erase the blackboard. This is not his etch-a-sketch moment.”