No rebuttal news conference planned for Senate pres

TRENTON – Absent from today’s rebuttals of Gov. Chris Christie’s budget address will be an appearance from the Senate’s top lawmaker.

Senate President Steve Sweeney plans to issue a statement in response to the governor’s annual address but will not host a news conference. Presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee Sen. Barbara Buono is the only Senate lawmaker who plans to host a rebuttal news conference.

A Sweeney spokesman did not immediately recall the last time the Senate president opted not to hold a rebuttal presser.

"He’s obviously working very, very hard at it. I mean he’s traveling all over the country as chairman of the [Republican Governors Association] and I think at this point he has as good a chance or better than anybody else. His name is household word all across the country, and I think he would make a great president."
—former U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton (R-3), on Gov. Chris Christie