NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) –– There’s a New York-New Jersey border war brewing.
Governor Chris Christie is howling about an attempt by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to elbow Garden Staters out of 9/11 10th anniversary ceremonies, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.
As a billionaire businessman and New York City ruler for nearly 10 years Mayor Bloomberg is certainly not used to getting a sharp elbow in the gut from somebody trying to undo one of his fiats.
Mayor Bloomberg, meet New Jersey Gov. Christie.
“What I am is determined, determined to stand up for New Jersey. That’s what I get paid for and that’s what I’m going to do whether it’s with Mayor Bloomberg or anybody else,” Christie said on Thursday.
WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb With Christie
Christie came to blows with the mayor over his refusal to invite former Gov. Donald DiFrancesco — the leader of New Jersey the day terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center — to next month’s ceremonies at ground zero. A New York City newspaper also reported that Christie called Bloomberg a dictator, Napoleon, and a “putz” (the Yiddish curse word that literally refers to a gentleman’s appendage).
WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb With Bloomberg
“If we allowed New York to make every one of these decisions with just New York no one from New Jersey would be there,” Christie said.
With former Gov. George Pataki invited to participate, along with presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Bloomberg was forced to relent and ask DiFrancesco, who by the way has never been invited to past anniversary ceremonies — ever.
However, the mayor is refusing Christie’s demand that David Samson, the chairman of the Port Authority, also be asked.
“I’ve made it very clear to the mayor’s office — I don’t know whether I have to send his business card — but David Sampson is the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He is the leader of the ground we will be standing on,” Christie said.
But having given in on DiFrancesco, the mayor was in no mood to rent on Samson, too.
“Gov. Christie has not called me and he’s not a shrinking violet. If he had something to say, I’m sure he’d pick up the phone. But you know, when it comes to 9/11, I don’t think the public is interested in some of these made-up stories about political squabbling that really take away from the solemnity – if that’s the right word — of the occasion,” Bloomberg said. “We’ve tried every year to keep the focus not on politics and politicians but on families.”
1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports: Bloomberg Says 9/11 Is For The Families
Governor Christie said the mayor needs a better argument than that, adding Samson is not a politician, but he does represent the Port Authority, which lost more than 80 people that day.
In addition, Christie said Samson was invited to participate in the ground zero wreath-laying with President Obama after Osama bin Laden was killed.
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