New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will be sworn into his second term and is slated to give his 2014 Inaugural Address Tuesday.
Amid two controversies slamming into his administration, Christie will address income equity, as well as state unity.
“I do not believe that New Jerseyans want a bigger, more expensive government that penalizes success and then gives the pittance left to a few in the name of income equity,” Christie’s speech reads. “What New Jerseyans want is an unfettered opportunity to succeed in the way they define success.”
Christie’s speech comes as Hoboken mayor Dawn Zimmer has accused the administration of threatening to withhold Hoboken’s share of Sandy Relief money unless she backed a development project, accusations that Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno called “completely false” Monday.
Excerpts from Christie’s speech show a focus on the state’s post-Sandy recovery and an urging by the governor, despite the scandals, to unify.
“One of the lessons that I have learned most acutely over the last four years is that New Jersey can really be one state,” Christie will read at the Trenton War Memorial Tuesday. “This election has taught us that the ways we divide each other – by race, by class, by ethnicity, by wealth, by political party is neither permanent nor necessary. Our dreams are the same: a good job, a great education for our children, safe streets in our neighborhood and core values which give our lives real meaning. Those dreams are not unique to any one group in our state.”
The new accusations come as his administration has been rocked by revelations that top aides closes lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge due to political payback when the mayor Fort Lee did not back Christie. Tuesday, he will again call for bipartisanship.
“And, while government has a role in ensuring the opportunity to accomplish these dreams, we have now learned that we have an even bigger role to play as individual citizens,” Christie will say. “We have to be willing to play outside the red and blue boxes the media and pundits put us in; we have to be willing to reach out to others who look or speak differently than us; we have to be willing to personally reach out a helping hand to a neighbor suffering from drug addiction, depression or the dignity stripping loss of a job. New Jersey came together as one community when it mattered most and now we must stay together – people of every background and belief, the government and our people, to help our fellow citizens reach their dreams.”
Another topic addressed in Christie’s speech seems to be his growing reputation as a bully telling his state he will always listen to them.
“We will fight to continue to change government so that we value our differences and honor the strength of our diversity. We cannot fall victim to the attitude of Washington, DC. The attitude that says I am always right and you are always wrong. The attitude that puts everyone into a box they are not permitted to leave. The attitude that puts political wins ahead of policy agreements. The belief that compromise is a dirty word. As we saw in December regarding the DREAM Act, we can put the future of our state ahead of the partisans who would rather demonize than compromise. As your Governor, I will always be willing to listen, as long as that listening ends in decisive action for the people counting on us.”
Christie is scheduled to deliver his speech at about noon in Trenton before heading to Ellis Island for an evening party.