Despite their partisan differences, Democratic Gov. Jack Markell of Delaware has some empathy for Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, whose pending signature on legislation passed by the state Assembly Thursday will cut pension and health benefits for almost 750,000 state employees and retirees in a belt-tightening effort that Christie says will save billions.
“What [Christie] did is better than what they did in some states, where they jammed it down their throats,” Markell said Friday on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe."
Christie, who brought the state’s Senate president and Assembly speaker – both Democrats – on board in support of the bill, is dealing with a debt crisis “happening all across the country,” Markell said. “What we have been paying for health care and pension for state employees is not sustainable. We approached it in different ways for different states."
The key, Markell said, is to put aside politics and reelection concerns. “It does come with the territory,” he said, “and this is a point in time where we all have to make the tough decisions, and we’re making them.”