The Republican star was running late to yesterday’s Committee of Seventy annual breakfast, so the blue-city mayor asked for a little help.
“Please increase funding to the largest city in New Jersey,” Mayor Michael Nutter said, joking about Philadelphia’s relationship to the Garden State. “I’m sure [Pa.] Gov.-Elect [Tom] Corbett will follow suit.”
When he finally arrived, New Jersey’s Gov. Chris Christie joked that Pennsylvania traffic made him an hour late to the Bellevue. He then dedicated a quarter of his 40-minute talk to his ongoing battles with the New Jersey teacher’s union.
“I’m playing with house money. I could do everything perfect for the next three years and could end up losing if I chose to run for re-election,” Christie said. “All the political rhetoric you hear about being willing to make the hard decisions is just that. Rhetoric. Both parties are guilty of it. … We [Republicans] got a new lease on life in D.C. If we don’t do what we said we’d do, we’ll be sent to the wilderness for a long time and we’d deserve to be sent there.”
Seventy’s executive director, Zack Stalberg, noted that pension-battler Christie was a fitting keynote speaker at a time when Nutter and Seventy are “working to get ride of the pension abuse called DROP.”
With a pension system underfunded by $46 billion, New Jersey is among 11 states with pension funds expected to be bankrupt by 2020. Christie vowed, “I’m not going to let that happen.”