- Associated Press - Friday, March 6, 2015

YORKVILLE, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says his criticism of New Jersey isn’t a reflection on fellow Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

Rauner has ripped New Jersey in recent speeches, saying last week the state is “lost” and “going down the drain.”

He told reporters Friday his harsh words aren’t intended as an attack on Christie, who stopped in Illinois frequently last year to campaign for Rauner.

The new Illinois governor says Christie is his friend and is “doing everything he can to turn New Jersey around.”

He says New Jersey has problems similar to Illinois - including budget gaps and a massive pension shortfall - because in both states government unions “control” the Democrat-led Legislature.

Unions and some lawmakers have fired back at Rauner, saying the multimillionaire doesn’t care about working people.

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