Democratic Governors Association Chairman Martin O'Malley may not like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie''s (R) policies, but he does respect him -- as a comedian.
In an interview with Hotline On Call at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington Saturday, the Maryland governor said the dispute over public employee unions and collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin won't bring about an improved climate for business. And, more broadly, the fighting between the GOP governors and the unions won't help businesses either, he said, digging at Christie.
"It's not the sort of behavior that brings about improved performance or improved profits in the private sector. And it might make for great theater, or in Chris Christie's case for the best stand-up routine that the RGA has, but it's not the sort of stuff that brings people together to solve problems or inspires consumer or business confidence in one state." O'Malley said.
During a Friday DGA panel on competitiveness and job creation, Democratic governors discussed the practice of attempting to steal business from other states -- something Christie has recently done, traveling to Illinois in an attempt to lure state businesses to New Jersey, following a record tax increase in the Prairie State.
"We were talking about the fact that when you poach from other states and spend a lot of taxpayer dollars to bring in sort of your marquee trophy, as if governors go out on hunting expeditions in the great wild, that that doesn't really add a lot to one's economy," O'Malley said in reference to the Friday DGA panel discussion.
"I think for the most part, we are far more focused on growing the economic strengths we have and improving the job creating potential of businesses that are already in our state," he added.
O'Malley said that Republican Governors Association Chairman Rick Perry "was talking like the big game hunter, going through the target-rich environment of California" at a Friday panel discussion.
The second-term governor smiled when asked about his supposed rivalry with Christie. O'Malley said he was looking forward to seeing Christie, and that the two sit next to each other at the NGA because of when their respective states joined the union.