Dems Agree Christie Can Seek Presidency and Run NJ
Gov. Chris Christie has said that if he decides to run for president in 2016 he will not leave office. A run for the White House would entail a tremendous amount of out-of-state travel, but Christie has insisted he can govern the state from anywhere. This may surprise many, but top Democrats in the New Jersey legislature actually agree with the governor.
"He's running for president. That's what it sounds like to me and that's fine, but he's still the governor of the state of New Jersey and our issues have to be addressed," said State Sen. President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford). "Listen, if he wants to travel around the country that's fine. I'm not worried about that. I'm worried about getting our economy going, funding our pensions, funding our TTF (Transportation Trust Fund)."
The governor has been criticized often for his frequent out of state trips while serving as chairman of republican Governors Association in 2014. Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto (D-Secaucus) conceded that Christie was able to work with lawmakers while traveling and that must also be the case if he runs for president.
"New Jersey has to be first. That's what we all got elected for so we assume whether he travels outside of the state New Jersey has to be priority number-one," Prieto said.
Democrats have bashed Christie for vetoing or opposing legislation to appease a national Republican audience and appeal to GOP voters in key primary states. Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Voorhees) said even if the governor runs for president he must remain focused on the Garden state regardless of where he is.
"I'm not so much concerned of whether or not he's negotiating with us from Iowa or Florida or Texas," Greenwald said. "No one is going to really care what box he sits in or what team he roots for. My bigger concern is not where he is negotiating from, but the question of if the solutions are not popular in Iowa or Florida or Texas that that is what will stymie progress here in New Jersey."