TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie defended his new $32.5 billion state budget on national TV and at a local town hall meeting Tuesday.
Christie touted his vetoes of Democratic tax hikes and railed against public employee benefits he says threaten to bankrupt the state. Christie presented himself as a no-nonsense, fiscal conservative as he works to repair his brand ahead of a potential presidential run.
He slammed state Democrats for trying to push through what he described as “crazy things,” like temporarily raising income taxes on those earning more than $1 million to fill an unexpected budget hole.
Christie vetoed the hikes and delayed contributions to the public employees’ pension fund to fill the gap, which his administration estimated at $2.75 billion over the current and previous fiscal year.