Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Chris Christie, governor of the US state of New Jersey, complained on ABC’s Sunday morning talk show This Week that TV series Jersey Shore promotes a negative image of the state.
Prompted by a feature in The New York Times on Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, one of the stars of the MTV show, interviewer Jake Tapper asked the governor whether he thought the series was positive or negative for the state. Christie unequivocally answered that the show was “negative for New Jersey… It takes a bunch of New Yorkers, drops them on the Jersey Shore, and tries to make America feel like this is New Jersey”. He concluded, “I can tell people: they want to know what New Jersey really is? I welcome them to come to New Jersey any time.”
In a wide-ranging interview the governor also faced questions about local and national politics, including New Jersey’s US$11 billion budget deficit. Specifically, he was challenged over his plans to not pay $3 billion into public pension funds, payments described by the interviewer as a “legal obligation”. He said that he “wasn’t going to put $3 billion into a failing pension system” and that there would be further reforms of pensions and health benefits.
Christie was further questioned over his ongoing conflicts with teachers unions. He responded that “we can’t have one sector of our society sheltered from the ravages of the recession, at the cost to people who have been hurt by the recession the most”, citing the example of construction unions in New Jersey currently suffering unemployment between 35 and 50%.