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Sweeney’s Sandy Barb Unleashes GOP Anger

State Senate President Steve Sweeney implies Gov. Chris Christie prayed for a storm like Sandy, as Republicans attack his remarks.

The state Senate president might be wishing he could turn back the clock a few hours, after Republicans seized on Steve Sweeney’s statement that Gov. Chris Christie is “lucky” Superstorm Sandy struck.

Sweeney, a Democratic state senator from West Deptford, was quoted as saying Christie’s “job package is a hurricane. I guess he prayed a lot and got lucky a storm came,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Sweeney, speaking Monday afternoon, was making a point that a natural disaster shouldn’t be an employment solution for New Jersey.

Sweeny apologized in the next breath for the statement, but it was too late.

Republicans quickly began issuing releases slamming Sweeney for his remarks, made ahead of Christie’s State of the State speech Tuesday.

A press release from the governor’s office simply titled “Lucky” outlined the devastation from Superstorm Sandy. Among the bullet points:

  • 346,000 homes and housing units damaged or destroyed
  • Nearly 250,000 New Jerseyans registered for assistance with FEMA
  • 6.4 million cubic meters of debris to be removed
  • 100,000 storm-related unemployment claims filed

Declan O’Scanlon, the Republican Assembly budget officer who represents Monmouth County, also decried Sweeney’s remarks in a statement.

“While I have supported some of the reforms proposed by Sen. Sweeney, his remark was insensitive and particularly offensive to the people along the Jersey Shore who were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. His outrageous comment is an example of why the public has a cynical view of the Legislature,” O’Scanlon said.

Sen. Jennifer Beck of Monmouth County said, "I can't imagine anybody praying for what was one of the most horrific disasters to strike New Jersey. There is no upside here, no amount of job creation can help replace what tens-of-thousands lost in the matter 24 hours."

joe January 08, 2013 at 12:43 AM
Sweeney is a weenie.
Tim E. Togo January 08, 2013 at 01:45 AM
Open mouth, insert foot and wait until later to think about what you're saying. What a moron!
john cohn January 08, 2013 at 10:32 AM
just shows how much the great Democratic machine gives a dam about anything but there own political agenda ..slam the one man who gives a dam about the state.low very low Sweeny you true jackass.
Joseph January 08, 2013 at 03:38 PM
I am sure Mr. Sweeney was referring only to the fact that Governor Christie's popularity would not be where it is absent the perception of his leadership ability in the wake of Sandy. The fact is, unemployment is still almost 10% and the last I look, my property taxes were not going down or even staying the same. The looming budget deficit due to the Governor's overstatement of projected revenues is virtually ignored in light of Sandy. It is no wonder that his State of State speech will focus on Sandy. Yes, the Governor has taken some bold steps to deal with Education and Pension/benefits reform. That happenened with the great support of Mr. Sweeney. By the way, I am a registered Republican who voted for Mr. Christie.
Edward Dooley Jr. January 09, 2013 at 08:04 PM
We need to get rid of him and any other Dumbocrat that thinks like him and makes stupid comments against the Governor whether them meant it or not. They are jealous and scared that they will lose their Political Status and free ride off the taxpayers and know that they don't have a snowball chance to elect a Democratic Governor anytime in the near future. SWEENEY (NJ's Biden) MUST GO PERIOD!!!

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