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Christie sworn in for second term amid scandal, snow

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Governor Chris Christie and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno's Swearing In Ceremony and the Governor's Inaugural Address at the War Memorial in Trenton, N.J. on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014.
Governor Chris Christie and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno's Swearing In Ceremony and the Governor's Inaugural Address at the War Memorial in Trenton, N.J. on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. - ()

At a ceremony Tuesday at the War Memorial in Trenton, Gov. Chris Christie dwelled heavily on promoting bipartisanship in government as he took his second oath of office as New Jersey's governor.

"We cannot fall victim to the attitude of Washington, D.C.," Christie said. "The attitude that says I am always right and you are always wrong. The attitude that puts everyone into a box they are not permitted to leave. The attitude that puts political wins ahead of policy agreements. The belief that compromise is a dirty word."

Christie's day began in Newark, where he attended a prayer service at the New Hope Baptist Church. Though a grand inaugural celebration on Ellis Island had been planned for the evening, the looming snowstorm set to rock the east coast forced Christie's inaugural committee to call it off.

As of Thursday afternoon, it has not been rescheduled.

Much like his victory speech on election night, Christie's address did not delve deep into policy matters and instead played upon themes of compromise and togetherness.

In what was possibly a parting shot at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, both Democrats, Christie said that economic growth in the state "will not happen by following the path that our neighbors seem prepared to pursue."

"For those who prefer economic growth and opportunity to government redistribution and higher taxes, I say this: Come to New Jersey," Christie said. "You will be welcome here."

In a second reference to the state's "neighbors," Christie potentially outlined his vision for a tax cut when he railed against high-tax, expansive government.

"Let's be different than our neighbors," Christie said. "Let's put more money in the pockets of our middle class by not taking it out of their pockets in the first place."

Noticeably missing from Christie's speech, however, was any mention of the scandals around the George Washington Bridge and Superstorm Sandy relief aid that continue to engulf his inner office.

Instead, Christie deflected and drew comparisons between his first term and the last one of his predecessor, Democrat Jon Corzine.

"My fellow New Jerseyans, we started this journey together in a dark and foreboding time in our history when hope was at a premium and trust had been squandered by a government who had been unwilling to tell you the truth," Christie said. "Today, we enter the final leg of this journey together with more hope than we have had in years and the trust that comes from partners who have shared with each other the hard truths that come from decisive action."

By taking a second oath Thursday, Christie became the first governor to serve a second term in New Jersey since Christine Todd Whitman, a Republican, began hers in 1998.

Also sworn in today for a second term was Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who has recently come under heat due to allegations made by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer that Guadagno threatened to withhold Sandy relief funds from the city if Zimmer did not approve of a development project with reported close ties to Christie.

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Andrew George

Andrew George

Andrew George covers the Statehouse from NJBIZ's Trenton bureau. Born and raised in N.J., Andrew has also spent time as a reporter in D.C., Texas and Pa. His email is andrewg@njbiz.com.

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