Chris Christie gives final State of the State address

  • Chris Christie gives final State of the State address

Chris Christie gives final State of the State address

New Jersey legislators have sent to Gov. Chris Christie's desk a measure authorizing billions of dollars in tax credits to lure Amazon's second headquarters to the state.

Christie is the first Garden State governor to give eight State of the State addresses in almost 30 years.

In a state with a history of unpopular governors upon leaving office, Christie will end his second term as the most disapproved and disliked since Eagleton began surveying the public nearly five decades ago.

Gov. -elect Phil Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs banker who is to be sworn in next Tuesday, said Christie's "sunny picture of a state in good standing" belied a "dire state of fiscal crisis". He said New Jersey is in way better financial shape than when he came in.

Just four years ago, Christie was a national political phenomenon, winning 60 percent of the vote in a blue state, and performing well among minorities. Analysts said anti-Christie sentiment was a major factor in the race.

Christie, the first governor since Thomas Kean to serve two full four-year terms, said the state is better off than when-nine years ago, as US attorney for the District of New Jersey-he made a decision to run for governor.

Christie also wants lawmakers to do more to reduce the state's costs of public employee pensions and health benefits. If that law had been followed, the state would be fully funding its obligation to the pension system in the current fiscal year.

He touted the halving of the unemployment rate - to about 5 percent - and a sharp drop-off of increases in state property taxes, the nation's highest.

"I can only tell you who ultimately executed on it and that was [Steve] Bannon, [Reince] Priebus, and [Jared] Kushner", he told NJ.com.

"I do not regret one minute of it, despite the impact it has had on my political standing", Christie said. "They're much more of an obsession of folks in the media and the know-nothing academics that you guys call all the time on speed dial, who literally have never done anything in politics".

Christie suggested this support shift was the norm. "But I'll tell you what was flawless: the effort, the compassion and the focus". Watch the video at the top of the page to see highlights from Christie's State of the State speeches over the years. "We think great times are ahead".

His proudest days as governor were also his hardest.

Christie was a short-list finalist to be Trump's running mate, before Trump picked now-Vice President Mike Pence. "We crafted a plan where both commuters and taxpayers win".

One of the other defining issues of Christie's tenure has been the state's pension system, a plan that he reworked in 2011, but that is now $90 billion underwater due to a lack of state funding. He ran to "be different" and "talk bluntly", to be a governor of outcome "who did not just mark time".

"Release from jail pending trial is now no longer based on how much money you have in the bank but on the seriousness of the accusations and your criminal record", the Governor said. "And I think they ill-served him by doing it".

Republican lawmakers, meanwhile, offered far more direct praise, including Assemblyman Anthony Bucco (R-Morris).

"We needed to care less about being loved and more about being respected", Christie said, explaining why he first ran for governor in 2009. "The vast majority of voters in New Jersey think he put that above everything else".