TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP)New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who gained a national reputation fighting the state’s teachers and public employee unions, says they should have the right to collective bargaining.

Gov. Chris Christie said the unions are trying to break the middle class, 1010 wINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

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Fresh off his budget address in which he demanded employees pay more for their benefits, Christie told MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough Wednesday that he supports “responsible bargaining.”

Christie says he’s not trying to break unions. The Republican says unions are trying to “break the middle class through expenses.”

“The fact is we have to work together to try to fix the problem but I’ll tell you this, I haven’t gotten any cooperation yet from the unions in New Jersey on any level,” Christie said.

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Christie blamed public employee unions for police layoffs in Camden and Newark because they wouldn’t offer concessions.

As the unions proposed a march in Trenton this week in support of their Wisconsin bretherin Christie was asked why he’s not trying to strip them of collective bargaining.

“I don’t think with a democratic legislature, even if I wanted to do it, I would have support for it,” Christie said.

His first day in office, Christie signed an executive order banning state worker unions from making political donations over $300 per campaign. An appeals court blocked the order from taking effect.

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