New Jersey State Senator Stephen Sweeney, who also serves as senate president, is furious with NJ Gov. Chris Christie. According to Sweeney, Christie’s line-item vetoes in the recent Democratic budget were “vindictive” and meant to punish the Democrats. And he let the governor, and the press, know about his disdain through a series of colorful and even graphic comparisons.
“This is all about him being a bully and a punk,” he said told the press on Friday. “I wanted to punch him in his head.”
But that’s not all.
“You know who he reminds me of?” Sweeney added. “Mr. Potter from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ the mean old bastard who screws everybody.”
He wasn’t done. Then came the analogy of Christie taking hostages and shooting them.
“Listen, you can punch me in the face and knock me down, do what you want,” Sweeney said. “But don’t be vindictive and punish innocent people. These people didn’t do anything to him. It’s like a bank robber taking hostages. And now he’s starting to shoot people.
“I liken it to being spoiled. He was angry because he wanted a mutual budget. But do you hurt people because of that? Do you take $8 million in AIDS funding away? Legal services is drowning as it is, and you take away another $5 million? I’m just so angry that he hurt people like this to prove a point. He is a cruel man.”
You can watch part of Sweeney’s comments below:
According to Sweeney, he waited and waited to meet with Christie last week before the governor made the cuts. But he never got a chance to speak to the state’s leader, and that stoked his fury.
But Christie’s office threw water on that fire on Sunday. In a statement, a Chrstie aide told Politico that Sweeney did in fact meet with Christie plenty of times before the cuts:
“The Governor met with Steve Sweeney and Speaker Oliver for 1 1/4 hours privately on Monday afternoon June 27th, met with Sweeney on Tuesday before the bill signing, and spoke to Sweeney again on the phone Tuesday,” the aide said. “Contrary to what the Senate President said, he was not sitting in his office ‘like a nitwit’ on Wednesday; he was in session with the Senate all day on Wednesday into the late evening — not waiting for the Governor to call him about a meeting.”
“So, please,” the aide added, “spare us some of the shock, surprise – and foul language – that Governor Christie would merely sit still for them to punch him repeatedly in the head like that.”