Watch CBS News

Christie The Bully? Democrats In N.J. Sure Think So

WESTFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Chris Christie is known for his tough talk, but on Friday some lawmakers said he went too far.

The Republican governor is under fire for a controversial comment he made about a female state senator, reports CBS 2's Christine Sloan.

Christie was making the comment as he responded to a dispute between himself and State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, saying she collects a salary and pension while blasting others for doing the same.

"While she knows she did it … can you guys please take the bat out on her for once? I mean here's a woman who knows she did it, yet she's coming to you pining 'oh how awful this is,'" Christie said.

Democrats are now criticizing the governor's comments, saying he sounded like a bully.

"She's in that Sunday story on Joe D in the star ledger beating the be-Jesus out of me over this," Christie said.

Two Bergen County lawmakers were asking all 120 New Jersey legislators to condemn Gov. Christie for his comments.

Assemblywomen Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Connie Wagner sent letters Friday asking state lawmakers to join them. They were demanding a retraction and an apology to Sen. Loretta Weinberg.

The Democrats said Christie's comment advocated violence against women. Senate President Stephen Sweeney also said Christie's remark crossed a line.

Sloan contacted State Sen. Weinberg, who is out of state, on the telephone to get her reaction. She said she was "appalled."

Weinberg went on to say, "He doesn't owe me a public apology, I am a big girl. But he owes the people of New Jersey an apology … to tone down the rhetoric and stop acting like a bully."

In a statement, a spokesperson for the governor said everyone who was at press conference knows the governor was talking about pension double-dipping and that "ratcheting it up beyond that is partisan politics at its worst and an attempt to divert attention from Sen. Weinberg's hypocrisy."

Still, it remains to be seen if the political fighting will end anytime soon.

Senator Weinberg said she started collecting her pension at age 75 partly because she lost most of her life's savings to Bernie Madoff.

Do you think Gov. Christie should apologize? Sound off below ...

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.