TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie said Friday that he’s not worried about businesses leaving for Illinois because Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is “a disaster.”
Christie’s comments come as ads are set to appear in several New Jersey publications on Monday, including NJ Biz, criticizing the state’s business climate. They were paid for by the advocacy group For a Better Chicago and are in retaliation for an ad campaign Christie launched to encourage businesses in Illinois to relocate to New Jersey.
“Let me tell you something: We won’t lose any business to Illinois as long as Pat Quinn’s the governor,” Christie, a Republican, said during a news conference Thursday. “He’s a disaster.”
The Chicago group said it’s taking out the ads to set the record straight on which state has the best business climate.
“We understand that governors have to be cheerleaders for their states, but the claims Gov. Christie is making are so far from the truth,” said Jake Braun, For a Better Chicago spokesman.
The Chicago ads, which say “Rhetoric is nice, reality matters,” focus on New Jersey’s high property taxes and cost of living.
Christie launched his campaign after Quinn, a Democrat, raised personal income taxes to 5 percent from 3 percent and corporate business taxes to 9.5 percent from 7.3 percent to help balance his budget.
In print and radio ads, Christie reiterated his commitment not to raise taxes. Christie also took a trip last month to Chicago to meet with business leaders.
Quinn spokeswoman Brie Callahan said Quinn has more important things to do than worry about Christie.
“Instead of making personal attacks on other governors, Gov. Quinn is focused on getting our state’s fiscal house in order and continuing to make Illinois an even stronger economic competitor,” she said.