Sweeney: State of State short on specifics, long on rhetoric

Senate President Steve Sweeney today slammed the governor on the lack of specifics presented in his annual State of the State address.

Sweeney said Christie’s recognition of the many heroes from Superstorm Sandy was laudable, “but I was looking for more than pats on the back.”

Sweeney, in his response to the governor’s address, said the governor was looking to wipe the board clean, making Sandy the only story of the final year of his first term.

“He wants to erase the board, because it’s not good,” Sweeney said.

Asked what specifics he was hoping to hear, Sweeney pointed to the state’s 9.7 percent unemployment rate, saying he would like to hear how Christie plans to find those people jobs.

“How about giving us a plan to put those people back to work, not just the storm,” Sweeney said.  “The storm is going to put everyone back to work,” Sweeney said.  “That’s great, but what happens after the storm. He ran on the economy, he ran on high unemployment.  The unemployment numbers are the same as when he came into office.”

Sweeney spoke about the gaffe he made during a press conference Monday, when he told reporters that the governor’s jobs plan was Superstorm Sandy.

“I guess he prayed a lot and got lucky a storm came,” Sweeney said, before immediately taking the comment back.

While Sweeney apologized for the comment, he doubled down on the sentiment today.

“I misspoke and I apologized immediately for it,” he said.  ”But I am not going to back away from the fact that his economic policy is the storm.”

Sweeney then turned on Christie, saying he knows he made a mistake and regretted it, unlike Christie, who never apologizes.

“We have a governor that’s said a lot of things that were offensive over the years and he has never apologized,” said Sweeney.

"I don't think what he's doing tonight, the method by which he's doing it helps to build a trustful relationship."
—Gov. Chris Christie reacting to President Barack Obama's speech on immigration reform.