O'Malley needles NJ's Christie on his home turf
Gov. Martin O'Malley's criticism of Gov. Chris Christie hit closer to home last night, as the Maryland governor spoke at the New Jersey Democrats' annual fundraising dinner.
"Balancing budgets is important, but what some Republican governors seem to forget is that creating jobs is also important," O'Malley said, according to his prepared remarks. Later, he added, "Instead of standing up for the middle class, we get stand-up comedy routines from colorful characters like your governor."
Christie's New Jersey Republicans fired back at O'Malley. "All you'll hear tonight is the sound of Gov. O'Malley's broken campaign promises as taxes/fees go up for Marylanders," the party wrote on its Twitter account. They flagged the Tweet with #weakkneedGov.
O'Malley made the trip up Interstate 95 as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. His appearance at the New Jersey Jefferson Jackson Day dinner in New Brunswick was a signal that Christie will be a featured element in the state's legislative races this year, the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote.
O'Malley and Christie have been at each other's throats for more than a year now. Christie mocked O'Malley's budget in March 2010 and disparaged his pension plan in a February appearance on Fox Business Network. O'Malley, meanwhile, called Christie "a colorful character" at a February address to the Virginia Democratic Party.
O'Malley opened his speech last night with a jokey comparison of Maryland and New Jersey. He concluded by referring to Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.
"In Maryland, we threw out a mean-spirited, ineffective, Republican governor after just one term," he said. "And in New Jersey -- well, let's just say it's good to know we have so much in common."