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Saturday, March 17, 2018

The highest-ranking Democrat in New Jersey government may have ruined his electoral hopes by claiming that Governor Chris Christie “prayed a lot and got lucky” when Hurricane Sandy devastated the state.

State senate president Stephen Sweeney, widely considered a top contender for the Democratic nomination in New Jersey’s upcoming gubernatorial election, made the tone-deaf comments at a Monday press conference attacking Christie’s economic record.

“We gave the governor a jobs package. We gave him one. He vetoed it. And his job package is a hurricane. I guess he prayed a lot and got lucky a storm came,” Sweeney said. The senator then immediately backpedaled, acknowledging “I shouldn’t say that…I apologize for saying it.”

The damage was already done, however. Christie’s spokesman Michael Druwniak quickly blasted Sweeney in a statement to the Philadelphia Inquirer:

It was shocking to hear Senator Sweeney reduce Hurricane Sandy and its devastation to a heartless partisan attack. Ask the thousands of New Jerseyans whose homes or businesses were destroyed or damaged if they view Hurricane Sandy as a partisan political issue, or if this is what they want to hear from their leaders at this time of recovery as we fight for disaster aid in Washington. No one ‘prayed’ for what New Jersey has endured. This is politics at its worst and Senator Sweeney’s next press release should be to all residents of New Jersey saying he is ashamed of what he said today.

The Inquirer reports that Christie’s office also “sent an email blast listing Sweeney’s ‘definition[s]’ of ‘lucky,’ including: 346,000 homes and housing units damaged or destroyed; over 2.7 million households and businesses without power, as well as over 1,000 schools; over 116,000 people under mandatory evacuation order and displaced at the height of the storm; etc.”

Apparently emboldened by Christie’s response, Sweeney released a statement of his own, which lamented, “It’s unfortunate that the governor has found time to exploit my misstatement, which I apologized for immediately,” before quickly reiterating that “misstatement.”

“The truth of the matter is the chief politicizer of Sandy has been none other than Chris Christie,” Sweeney said. “There is no better example of this than his appearance on Saturday Night Live.”

Sweeney also confirmed at the Monday press conference that he is considering challenging Christie in the governor’s 2013 re-election bid. That would have been a difficult task to begin with — the most recent New Jersey poll, from Fairleigh Dickinson University/PublicMind, shows Christie with an approval rating of 72 percent and a 65 to 29 percent lead over Sweeney — but outbursts only strengthen Christie’s case.

In order to win re-election in the blue state of New Jersey, Christie must win a significant percentage of Democratic and independent voters. Unsurprisingly, Christie’s popularity spiked when he put partisan politics aside in the wake of the storm, working with President Obama to manage the disaster and then slamming his fellow Republicans for failing to provide sufficient aid. By responding to those gestures with a vicious partisan attack, Sweeney only reinforces Christie’s image as a man above “politics as usual” — and makes it more likely that he will cruise to re-election in November.

Photo credit: AP/Mel Evans

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo

22 Responses to New Jersey’s Top Democrat Claims Christie ‘Prayed’ For Hurricane Sandy

  1. I’m not a fan of Governor Christie’s or the GOP but Sweeney was way out of line and doesn’t deserve to represent anyone. We all need to reject the absurdity that is permeating American politics from both parties. Words can be a powerful motivator and drive people to great deeds or have very serious and deadly consequences, it’s our choice! I hope America makes the right one.

    • Chris Christie has the courage to take on anyone, weather I agree with his politics or not he has huevos. That’s more than we can say for the rest of the GOP even their leader is a whimp.

      • old_blu, I really don’t get what you are saying. “Weather?” What does the weather have to do with your comments? Oh, I get it. You mean “whether.”

        Huevos? What do eggs have to do with Christie’s politics, unless you mean cajones, which are certainly not eggs, although ovate in shape.

        Before you again write something for the world to see, go back to school and learn some vocabulary.

        • Yeah, I seen I spelled whether wrong, I’ll fix that. But is that all you got? REALLY? The rest I’m leaving. I did not know about the spelling gestapo, sorry.

          Edit: BTW, the weather up here in the NW sucks today.

        • For your information, growing up in Miami, BOTH were deemed correct vernacular for testicles! Next time YOU do a little research, before jumping down someones throat!

          • Addendum, Mikeey7a & speedy, in Alaska both huevos and cojones are used to denote that someone has balls and I would like to point out to both of you that “cajones” is a furniture drawer. Not that I would consider Alaskans as final arbitrators considering that our beautiful Hispanic professor from New Mexico swore that Spanish for “cat” was “pussy gato”.

      • Does speedy have it out for you today or what? I knew what you meant and didn’t even give it a second thought. Some people are just to damn anal retentive. You’re right though, Christie does have a pair and he isn’t afraid to call his own party out when the need arises but I don’t appreciate his stance on the issue of unions and public workers. However, he does appear to be much more liberal than many other Republicans.

  2. You sure he isn’t GOP? Are you telling me we have nuts like this in the DNC. Christie is just telling it as it is, no party gets a pass from what they do. That is how politics should be, not vote with your party no matter what. Know who I would vote for.

  3. Senator Sweeney, just shut the hell up. You have already shown your state and the nation how stupid you are. Your “non” apology reveals that you do believe that Christie delighted in Sandy, your protestations notwithstanding. You would serve your political ambitions well by permanently closing your mouth on the subject.

    I am a Massachusetts Democrat but would vote for Christie in a heartbeat.

  4. So when a republicans says something that is really out of line…. and than say “Oh Iam Sorry” all is well…….OMG let a Democrat misspeak the end of the world is coming….so who is playing politics here…. that was not a very nice thing to say for sure…. but guess what, Democrats are humane and do make mistakes….. so for god sake grow up.

  5. That isn’t the point here. Hell, I practice more decorum than that everyday and I have to deal with an unreasonable public. I am a registered Democrat who expects a lot more out of my party then someone going off half cocked and saying completely rediculous things like that. I hold people to a very high standard as well as we all should.

  6. I have made the comments before that I do not like the political views of Governor Christie, but I do admire his guts.

    However, the comment from Stephen Sweeney went WAY over the line. An apology will not be enough to erase the ill will he created.

    He should NOT run for Governor.

  7. This is exactly the kind of talk that Democrats so rightly ridicule Republicans for. Dems lowering themselves to that kind of unsubstantiated and undeserved accusation is reminiscent of Right-wing extremist rhetoric of Glenn Beck or Michael Savage. If that comment deprives him of a shot at the governorship of NJ, the party and state are better off for it. It’s a moot point anyhow. Christie’s poll numbers assure him of another term regardless of who runs against him, if indeed, any local Dems are brave enough to try.

  8. Senator Sweeney has proved beyond a doubt that Democrats can be stupid a–holes too. Congratulations Senator Sweeney for that fine display of bi-partisan idiocy.

  9. That asinine comment from Sweeney, as far as I’m concerned, ranks right up there with the comments made by politicians during the 2012 election, on both sides. One thing about stupidity – It transcends all racial, religious, and political barriers with unprecedented ease.

  10. That sounds a lot like someone shooting himself in the foot so he won’t have to campaign. Maybe he saw the writing on the wall and just doesn’t want to wage a losing battle. But the comment was some kind of stupid.

  11. It was a bone head comment but the aoura around Christe is see threw. The facts are the democratic state legislature stopped the angry governor from giving tax cuts to the wealthy by robbing the transportation trust fund. While Christe was running around the country yipping about the economic miracle, in NJ, most of the jobs created were at the low end of the economic ladder, and tax revenues lagged. The dems said they wouldn’t pass the tax cut if the revenues don’t support it. See they can be fiscally responsible too.

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