- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 29, 2015

New Jersey’s top elected Democrat is blasting Republican Gov. Chris Christie for ignoring the state’s economy in favor of his presidential ambitions.

“He needs to be back here with a plan on what we’re going to do to fix this place, because you can’t fix it when you’re not here,” state Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Gloucester Democrat, said late Tuesday at a news conference in Trenton. “You don’t fix anything when you can’t look anybody in the eye. I get his ambitions, but he’s the governor of the state of New Jersey.”

Mr. Christie, who is considering a bid for the Republican nomination in 2016, has accused Mr. Sweeney and state Democrats of failing to support his proposed reforms of the state’s pension system.

“The governor is running for the president of the United States,” Mr. Sweeney said. “I guess he thinks he’s practicing the role by doing Washington gridlock politics, which is nonsense tweets, the accusations that are false, don’t ever let the truth get in the way. It’s enough.”

He said the state’s economy “is in a death spiral.”

A state court will hear the governor’s appeal next week in a legal challenge by unions over Mr. Christie’s move last year to cut the state’s contribution to the public-employee pension plan.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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