"This is all about him being a bully and a punk," he said in an interview Friday.
"I wanted to punch him in his head."
Sweeney had just risked his political neck to support the governor’s pension and health reform, and his reward was a slap across the face. The governor’s budget was a brusque rejection of every Democratic move, and Sweeney couldn’t even get an audience with the governor to discuss it.
As the Star-Ledger points out, given Sweeney's ambition for higher office and the hit he's taken among Democrats for working with Christie to screw public employees on pension and benefits, it's in his political interest to play up his problems with Christie. That said, Christie has really gone out of his way to create problems:
When Democrats tried to restore money to a few favorite programs — including college scholarships for poor students, and legal aid for the needy — the governor not only rejected the additions, he added new cuts on top of that.
He mowed down a series of Democratic add-ons, including $45 million in tax credits for the working poor, $9 million in health care for the working poor, $8 million for women’s health care, another $8 million in AIDS funding and $9 million in mental-health services.
But the governor added $150 million in school aid for the suburbs, including the wealthiest towns in the state. That is enough to restore all the cuts just listed.
Christie then added insult to injury by having his staff tell Sweeney the governor would call him to discuss the budget, but never calling.