New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Wednesday lashed out at State Senator who is a frequent critic for collecting a pension and salary at the same time. The GOP Governor said the media should "take the bat out" on Democratic Senator Loretta Weinberg, whom he said deserved a "hypocrisy award" for saying that he was slow to criticize another politician who was collecting a salary and pension for the same job.
Christie called Weinberg the "queen of double standards" for taking a $49,000 lawmaker salary as she simultaneously draws about $40,000 a year in pension benefits.
To be exact, here’s what Christie had to say to the State House press corps, “I mean, can you guys please take the bat out on her for once? Here’s a woman who knows she did it, yet she comes to you and is pining … ‘Oh! My goodness! How awful this is! What a double standard!’ But she’s the queen of double standard.”
In a written statement Weinberg said, “Governor Christie used the words ‘take a bat out on her,’ in his admonishment of the press corps to make hay over my pension. Frankly, considering I’ve devoted my entire legislative career to fighting for the rights of women – including battered women – I think his words continue to show the level of insensitivity and poor judgment that the Governor has demonstrated on women’s issues since getting elected. I doubt that the Governor will apologize to me personally regarding this latest attack. He has proven himself to be far too thin-skinned and stubborn to admit when he’s wrong on an issue. But I hope for the sake of women who’ve had to fear for their lives and their safety that he apologizes for his poor choice of words. However, I won’t hold my breath.”
Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Stender said, “The governor’s statement Wednesday to New Jersey’s assembled press corps was a tasteless and disgraceful example of the most powerful elected official in the state directly advocating for violence against women. The Governor will likely attempt to explain away his statement and lambaste myself and reporters for ‘overreacting’ but the fact remains that words – especially when spoken from someone in a position of power – carry a significant weight.”
Democratic Senator Joe Vitale said, “While the Governor may have been speaking in hyperbole, he needs to recognize that his words have impact, and he should apologize for the use of a phrase which seems to condone the use of violence against women. On a personal note, I’ve known Loretta Weinberg to be a strong advocate on women’s issues and a tireless fighter for the public good. She will no doubt use this opportunity to once again urge the Governor to stand up for women in the Garden State.”
State Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat also came to Weinberg’s defense. Click here to listen to Sweeney’s response.