Talking Smack: Gov. Jerry Brown vs. Gov. Chris Christie

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In a classic East vs. West battle, California Gov. Jerry Brown (a.k.a. “Governor Moonbeam” in the 1970’s) took a jab at New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s weight.  Christie previously called Brown “an old retread” at the RNC Convention in Tampa.

This week, Brown decided to trade jabs with Christie making what I considered a crude joke about the New Jersey Governor’s weight.  Here’s the excerpt from the San Jose Mercury News:

Brown also fired a new shot Tuesday in the war of words that began Aug. 27 when Gov. Christie, speaking at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., called Brown “an old retread” who “won the New Jersey presidential primary over Jimmy Carter when I was 14 years old.”

Brown on Tuesday said he and the state’s other executive officers have pared their spending, including their travel budgets. “I’m flying Southwest, and I oftentimes take the middle seat — I don’t think Christie is taking the middle seat. So I’m doing my part for austerity.”

It wasn’t Brown’s first jab at Christie’s girth. A week ago, he challenged Christie to a 3-mile run, a push-up contest and a chin-up contest; he said he’d take any bet on such a matchup and was confident he’d win. Christie told reporters Tuesday that Brown “can have that contest with himself” while he tries “to make my state better.”

Asked whether he intends to seek another term in 2014, Brown quipped, “Do I have to decide today?”

“I think about it now and then, but I don’t think I have enough information,” he hedged, adding that he enjoys being governor.

“This is a stressful job,” Brown said. “But I like to think I give as much stress as I take.”

You can read the full story here.

Comparing California with New Jersey is ridiculous,  Trash talk on Christie’s weight isn’t going to reduce California’s financial woes.  California used to be the place where innovators went to innovate.  We had a better business climate and the Silicon Valley wasn’t a place – it was a state of mind.

Now, innovators are building manufacturing and technology facilities outside of California and flocking to other states with more favorable business climates.  California has dropped to the tenth largest economy.  We used to be the fourth – even ahead of France.

In contrast, New Jersey is getting better and Governor Christie’s record of job creation and roll-back of pensions without raising taxes should be applauded.  In my mind, Brown could learn a little something from Christie about how to effectively deal with the unions and create jobs.  Brown was a good mayor of Oakland, making the city friendlier to business but this has not been the case as we look at pension policies and yet another jumbo tax initiative on the November ballot.

Perhaps you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

What do you think of Jerry Brown and Chris Christie?