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Sweeney’s Sandy Barb Unleashes GOP Anger

State Senate President Steve Sweeney implies Gov. Chris Christie prayed for a storm like Sandy, as Republicans attack his remarks.

The state Senate president might be wishing he could turn back the clock a few hours, after Republicans seized on Steve Sweeney’s statement that Gov. Chris Christie is “lucky” Superstorm Sandy struck.

Sweeney, a Democratic state senator from West Deptford, was quoted as saying Christie’s “job package is a hurricane. I guess he prayed a lot and got lucky a storm came,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Sweeney, speaking Monday afternoon, was making a point that a natural disaster shouldn’t be an employment solution for New Jersey.

Sweeny apologized in the next breath for the statement, but it was too late.

Republicans quickly began issuing releases slamming Sweeney for his remarks, made ahead of Christie’s State of the State speech Tuesday.

A press release from the governor’s office simply titled “Lucky” outlined the devastation from Superstorm Sandy. Among the bullet points:

  • 346,000 homes and housing units damaged or destroyed
  • Nearly 250,000 New Jerseyans registered for assistance with FEMA
  • 6.4 million cubic meters of debris to be removed
  • 100,000 storm-related unemployment claims filed

Declan O’Scanlon, the Republican Assembly budget officer who represents Monmouth County, also decried Sweeney’s remarks in a statement.

“While I have supported some of the reforms proposed by Sen. Sweeney, his remark was insensitive and particularly offensive to the people along the Jersey Shore who were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. His outrageous comment is an example of why the public has a cynical view of the Legislature,” O’Scanlon said.

Tell us: What do you think of Sweeney’s remarks? Do you think Christie is leading New Jersey on the right path to correct high unemployment? Or do you agree with Sweeney’s sentiments, if not his wording?

See what a Patch blogger thinks Christie should address in his State of the State speech: State of the State After Sandy

Duchess January 07, 2013 at 11:11 PM
What an idiot, showing his true colors!
redneckwillie3 January 07, 2013 at 11:53 PM
It just goes to show how stupid Sweeney can be. His true colors were shown long ago. You never know Sweeney someone can run a red light and broad side you and a prayer could have been said about that. You should think before you talk,but for you that's hard. I hope this doesn't rub off to our local dem politicians,oh wait I forgot it has the two book ends.
Occupant January 08, 2013 at 12:02 AM
The true master of of all union goons!
Roger Kaufman January 08, 2013 at 12:30 AM
Wasn't Sweeney the guy who wanted to "punch" the Governor in the head? What a dope!
John January 08, 2013 at 01:41 AM
Sweeney's comments are a direct reflection of his complete and utter state of incompetence.
al henry January 08, 2013 at 02:29 AM
Absolutely unconscionable statement.
Schu January 08, 2013 at 04:42 AM
Typical Liberal hate speech that shows his true colors. Why do we keep electing this political hack?
Bob Citizen January 08, 2013 at 01:13 PM
Steve Your sensitivity is over-whelming. Stop it, oh stop it.
bob baldwin January 08, 2013 at 01:15 PM
" DOPE " !!!!!!!!!!!!!
ironhead January 08, 2013 at 02:43 PM
yeah right and our governor is so revered for his tact and eloquence
WDNeedsHelp January 08, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Where are all his Dem buddies? Why aren't they rushing to his side to defend him. Don't tell me this is even too much for the Dems to stomach.
Loretka January 08, 2013 at 06:01 PM
His luck should run out next time he is up for election.
Beachy Keen January 08, 2013 at 11:15 PM
It seems that that the senator regretted it no sooner the words were out of his mouth but I'm sure all will be well in a few days. I thought he was Christie's new best friend?
Paul J. DiBartolo January 09, 2013 at 12:26 AM
Do we really need to hear Steve Sweeny criticize Christie on jobs? I mean, he already told us that job creation was not his top concern in New Jersey when he informed us all that same-sex marriage was going to be the legislature's top priority for the current session (FAIL ONE). After that he felt the need to criticize Ann Coulter who isn't even a politician (and she's really much smarter than you, Steve) (FAIL TWO)! And then he felt the need to waste time trying to intervene in the NFL Ref's strike with the ridiculous idea of introducing legislation that would not allow NFL games in NJ with replacement refs (FAIL THREE)! Come on, Steve, just do your job and stop wasting our money.
Mister Mike January 09, 2013 at 12:39 AM
From the negative and down right rude comments of many people here, they are only considering what first came out of Sweeney's mouth and give no consideration that he immediately realized how he phrased it, took his foot out of his mouth and apologized. The point is that a natural disaster can't be counted on every year and used in job creation planning in the next fiscal year. While jobs have been created a result of Sandy and some unemployed people will get some of those jobs, the vast majority still will be temporary jobs. Maybe some of them will go on for a few years and further, but they are still temporary. I'm not being apologetic for Sweeney. Rather, I think he was starting his possible campaign for governor against Chrissie too early and in a present inappropriate situation. Sweeney probably did our governor a favor. Christie will certainly now stay clear of using job creation as a result of Sandy in his reelection campaign. We may see some PAC commercials using this theme, but not one from Chrissie's himself or his campaign. @Loretka, Sweeney will be reelected in his next NJ State senatorial race if NJ election law allows a candidate for governor to retain his/her seat in the NJ senate and/or legislature while running for NJ governor. If Sweeney should be the Democrat candidate for governor, he will still be a NJ Senator after his defeat and then win reeducation the next time his senate seat is up. That's because Chrissie will easily be reelected.
Skitch January 09, 2013 at 02:13 AM
Christie says it like it is. No sugar coating. Nothing fancy. No double talking. He calls a spade a spade. What's wrong with that?
Mister Mike January 09, 2013 at 03:38 AM
@Skitch your response at 9:40 pm on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 in response to: ironhead's comments of 10:04 am on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 ironhead: "yeah right and our governor is so revered for his tact and eloquence: You late that day, "Christie says it like it is. No sugar coating. Nothing fancy. No double talking. He calls a spade a spade. What's wrong with that?" Seems to me that both say it like it is. There are an number of incidents of Chrissis shouting down a NJ citizens, some noe even knowing if they favor him overall or not. Likewise Sweeney once did say he would like to punch Sweeney in the head. Seems to me they are both cut from the same cloth. They tell it like it is, no holds barreled sometimes.
Lee January 09, 2013 at 05:36 AM
My, my, my. The politically informed of New Jersey know that sweeney is a puppet that dances to the democrat lead. Apparently, he escaped his handlers once again, and snuck in a statement of his very own. Whenever he does this, he demonstrates the actual intellectual level of the "democrat leaders ( puppets )" of this state. Without their keepers....they are frightening people.
Tom Natale January 09, 2013 at 03:33 PM
I think Christie actual prayer was please god let Sweeney open his stupid mouth and show what a real moran he really is. Prayer answered!!
P. Pierce January 09, 2013 at 05:29 PM
It is crystal clear that Sen. Sweeney made a mistake, recognized that he misspoke, corrected his mistake and apologized right away. What more can you ask of a government leader? That is more than Gov. Christie has done when he has uttered some " over the top" comments in the past when attacking regular folks, not other politicians. Sweeney should be credited for owning his mistake and apologizing, not bashed for making a mistake. And lets not ignore the important point he was trying to make: the New Jersey economy is in the tank with 9.8% unemployment, no job growth in sight, and a state budget that is set to implode as a result of unrealistic revenue projections by Gov. Christie. I hope Sen. Sweeney keeps on calling out the governor on these issues important to New Jersey taxpayers.
Roger Klotz January 09, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Agree with this,, obviously some people have anti-Democrat or anti-Sweeney agendas and are just using this to draw attention away from real issues like unemployment, foreclosures and property taxes, which is unsurprising. But fair-minded people who care more about real issues and less about politics will recognize that Sweeney made a mistake - the point he was trying to make didn't come out the way he intended (which is why he immediately apologized). I don't think his point is wrong either, Christie would obviously rather talk about an issue that is favorable to him than other issues that aren't. Unemployment is over 9% and he has vetoed every effort by the legislature to help with job growth. That's a real issue that Christie is not leading on, and it's fair to bring that up. It's unfair to keep pretending Sweeney meant something he very clearly didn't.
WDEagles04 January 11, 2013 at 03:38 AM
I don't think there is anyone in this state who has put more time and energy into actually getting New Jersey back after Sandy then Steve Sweeney. He has been holding hearings all over the place so we can find out what went wrong and then fix it. He didn't just jump with a bunch of laws that would have seemed great but done little in the end to fix anything. We have seen that movie too many times and he refused to do it.
WDEagles04 January 11, 2013 at 03:43 AM
I agree with Mister Mike.... What a joke this entire thing is... Since when did someone immediately apologizing for something they said become a major news story? Governor Christie used a mistake to cover over his failure to produce for people in this state that need help. High unemployment? Check. People losing their homes? Check. Every other state around us and most in the nation doing better than New Jersey? Check. Words might appear to make things look better governor, but action actually makes it better. When are we gonna see that from you. Our family, friends and neighbors are out of work. Sandy isn't going to make it better. Where is your plan?
neighbor January 11, 2013 at 12:27 PM
I live right next door to Sweeney.he isn't the person you think he is. he is down right obnoxious and he thinks his doo doo don't stink. He works out at riverwinds A free ride while everyone else has to pay. He is not for the people he's for himself.Politically he's a idiot and moron that doesn't think when he talks.
WDEagles04 January 11, 2013 at 02:22 PM
Dear Neighbor, I may not agree with you but I respect your right to have an opinion however off base it may be. I don't need to live next to Sweeney to know what he has done and know the person he is. A champion for the Special Olympics, for seniors, for those with autism, for Gloucester County, for South Jersey, for families, for taxpayers. We have no way to know if you are really his neighbor, but if you are, go talk to him. No one cares more about people or spends more time with their constituents and neighbors. You'll change your opinion.... like the thousands of those whose lives have been directly improved because of Steve Sweeney.
Bill January 11, 2013 at 02:59 PM
Defend this democrat scum but bury Romney for months on the 47% comment (taken out of context). Same old thing from liberals.
Joe Taxpayer January 11, 2013 at 05:28 PM
So everyone who gives time & money to assist charities is a good guy now. That must make Mitt Romney a Saint. NJ has near 10% unemployment, billions of dollars of liabilities we cannot afford to pay, highest taxes in the land and a budget shortfall because we spend too much which drive up property taxes. Can you please explain to us with detail what Sweeney is doing to help the thousands of middle class NJ residents so they can afford to live here ? Has he introduced any job creation legislation? Reduced any taxes to spur growth (Remember tax cuts spur the economy according to all who passed the Fiscal Cliff making the Bush tax cuts permanent)? Reduced healthcare costs which are crippling everyone?
WDEagles04 January 11, 2013 at 08:28 PM
Joey Tax- Be informed, have whatever opinion you want and express it. That's why this Country is the best. But CC is the Governor, not SS. As Harry Truman said, the Buck stops here. Don't take my words for it, this is from NJ.Com's editorial: "Because for all Christie’s optimism Tuesday, New Jersey continues to lag other states in a number of key areas. We have the fourth-highest unemployment rate in the nation, now at 9.6 percent and barely changed from when he took office three years ago. We rank behind only Florida in the percentage of homes in foreclosure. We’ve got one of the lowest credit ratings in the country, thanks to our budget woes, and it keeps dropping. And our property tax burden has never been worse, under any other governor in at least a decade. So there’s plenty more work to be done, and not just on Sandy recovery."
Walter Frockmorton January 12, 2013 at 02:55 PM
He has been very effective in pushing big business (the bad guy) out of the state. He even pushes little business' out of the state. He's very good at discouraging business' from even coming here or opening up in the first place. Family leave act, minimum wage regulation......all causing the job creators to take their business elsewhere. Just go on the Ironworker's website and see how much per hour they want for one guy. One guy to do the work, and the other two to watch.
Walter Frockmorton January 12, 2013 at 02:58 PM
Roger, I'll bet you have skin in the game.

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