New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie labeled Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg a “partisan hack” who should be “ashamed of himself” for raising doubts about Christie’s bipartisan plan to merge Rutgers University-Camden and Rowan University.
“I will give you the best example of why Washington, D.C. cannot work and his name is Frank Lautenberg,” Christie told an audience at a town hall meeting in Manchester on Thursday. (RELATED: More on Chris Christie)
“Frank Lautenberg sends out letters, which I can guarantee you are a waste of paper. He sends out letters criticizing Republicans and Democrats for working together.”
Lautenberg is seeking a federal review of the merger. The plan has the support of Democrats, including state Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney and Democratic fundraiser George Norcross.
Christie than slammed politicians in Washington, asking, “What the hell are they doing down there? They’re not working for us.”
“Republicans put our press releases yelling at Democrats, Democrats put out press releases yelling at Republicans,” he continued. “They forget who sent them there and who they’re supposed to be working for.”
Christie said he will not “make any apologies for working with right-minded Democrats to make progress” in the state.
“You voted for divided government, and it’s my job as governor to make it work. We’re making it work and we’re not going to listen to partisan hacks like Frank Lautenberg,” said Christie, the first Republican in New Jersey to be elected to statewide office in 12 years.
“He should be ashamed of himself — ashamed of himself for playing partisan politics. You would think by the time you reach 88 years old that you would learn that the country should come first, the state should come first — not your political party. But unfortunately, with Sen. Lautenberg, any Democrat that dares work with a Republican is disloyal.”
The merger was also raised by a Rutgers law student in a question at a town hall meeting with Christie on March 9. The student kept interrupting Christie, who shot back, saying, “You conduct yourself like that in the courtroom, your rear end’s going to get thrown in jail, idiot.”