At the mention of Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy‘s name, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie just started laughing Monday morning during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Asked why that’s so funny, Christie said, “all I know is Dan Malloy was lecturing me about look how he can get it done.”
“He’s conciliatory, he negotiates with people and he got these big concessions, in return for big tax increases,” Christie told Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, who spent time with Malloy on Thursday, the same day it became clear the unions had rejected the concession package. “So now what to the people of Connecticut have? Big tax increases with no concessions because the unions stuck it to him.”
“The fact of the matter is what these folks in the public sector unions respect is strength. Strength not weakness,” Christie said.
“He who laughs last, laughs best,” Roy Occhiogrosso, Malloy’s senior communications adviser, said Monday.
Christie went onto explain how he was able to get the job done in New Jersey.
He said he was able to work with the Democrat-controlled legislature to get the changes he needed to the state employees’ health and pension benefits to make them more sustainable in the long run. Part of convincing the moderate Democrats to go along with his plan was his ability to sell it at 30 town hall meetings around the Garden State.
Malloy held 17 town hall meetings which he used to sell his budget proposal which included the $1.6 billion in union concessions and $2.6 billion in tax increases over the next two years, in addition to some modest spending cuts and a reorganization of state government.