Arguing that he made the tough choices needed to set New Jersey on the road to economic growth, Gov. Chris Christie defended his economic record before an audience of roughly 300 at a lecture in McCosh Hall on Friday. He was invited to speak by the Center for Economic Policy Studies.
The Republican governor, an ex officio member of the University’s Board of Trustees, passed a budget last June that cut state spending by 2.2 percent and triggered a firestorm of protest from unions and advocacy groups, which argued that the governor should raise taxes to help close the state’s $10.7 billion budget deficit. Christie also proposed a budget in February that held spending flat, calling the previous year’s cuts the “new normal.”
Christie, who took office last January, said he felt that he had to undo the budgetary damage he inherited from previous governors.
“I feel as if I was invited to dinner by all the former governors and had a great dinner … and then right at the end of the evening, all seven of them got up and left to go to the bathroom and they never came back, and I was the one left with the bill,” Christie said.