Buono criticizes Christie for ‘offensive’ budget address

TRENTON – State senator and presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee Barbara Buono wasted little time in slamming Gov. Chris Christie Tuesday for giving a budget address she said lacked substance.

Buono attacked Christie for an “unemployment rate that literally hasn’t budged since he’s been in office” and for failing to take care of residents “who are hurting in New Jersey.”

Buono appeared by herself to give a response to the governor’s annual address.

“Some of the things he said were really offensive,” she said, adding that if he’s fixed on turning Trenton upside down as he said in his address then it’s only to shake loose change from pockets of the middle class.

“The governor’s claim last year that his fiscal house was in order … defies reality,” she said, explaining his Fiscal Year 2014 budget plans continue “his fiscal failures for the last three years.”

If given the opportunity, Buono said, she would have focused a budget address on getting middle-class residents back to work.

“Right off the top of my head I wouldn’t have pulled out of the ARC tunnel,” she said, adding she would have also signed off on legislation she says Christie neglected and which would have brought jobs to the state.

“I also would have signed the minimum wage bill,” she said. “That’s the way of expanding our revenue base.”

Buono accused Christie of “turning a blind eye and a deaf ear” to the state’s middle class.

“I think my record speaks for itself,” she said.

"This meeting is entirely off the record. Until somebody leaks it."
—Michael Kempner, addressing a roomful of Democratic powerbrokers organizng for Hillary Clinton