Governor Chris Christie delivered the annual State of the State address in Trenton Tuesday, a speech that focused mainly on rebuilding following Superstorm Sandy.
"There is no question that Sandy hit us hard, but there is also no question that we're fighting back with everything we've got." Governor Chris Christie told the legislature and the people of New Jersey during the annual address that while Hurricane Sandy may've damaged our homes and infrastructure, it did not destroy our spirit.
"Let's accomplish the mission of rebuilding our battered state," said Christie, "and restoring the hope and faith and the trust of our people that government can work in a bipartisan way to restore our great way of life to all New Jerseyans." Bipartisanship that the governor would like to see next week during Congressional action on the multibillion-dollar Sandy aid bill. "We have waited 72 days- seven times longer than victims of Hurricane Katrina waited," said the Governor, "One thing I hope everyone clearly understands now, New Jersey, both Republicans and Democrats, will never stand silent when our citizens are being short changed."
While the governor says Sandy has taken a toll on the state's economy, and some losses will never be recouped, he also says the state's turnaround is still a positive one. "Unemployment is coming down," said Christie, "2011 was our best private sector job growth year in eleven years, and 2012 is also positive, personal income set a record high in New Jersey for the seventh quarter in a row."
With Christie running for re-election, he took time to highlight what he's accomplished over the last three years, like pension and health benefit reform, teacher tenure reform, and new tax relief for private sector jobs. "As we assess the state of our state this afternoon, we should be proud of our record," he said, "the state is stronger today than it has been in years, we are recovering and growing, not declining and descending."
And that is what the governor said needs to continue to happen, even as the state continues to cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. "That is our mission, to hurdle barriers no matter how high, to fight the elements of doubt or disaster, and to leave this place better than we found it."
Some opponents of Christie say the storm has provided cover for what they see as failure in the governor's policies. Others felt his address Tuesday was more of a pep talk, than an actual plan for moving forward.