New Jersey had its credit rating cut one step by Standard & Poor's, handing Chris Christie his eighth downgrade, the most ever for a Garden State governor. The reduction to A, the sixth-highest level, with a stable outlook follows a Sept. 5 downgrade by Fitch Ratings.... Only Illinois has lower ratings than New Jersey among U.S. states.
In May, New Jersey's debt was downgraded for the sixth time since Gov. Chris Christie (R) took office. It was right around the time the governor scrapped his state pension-reform plan, once considered Christie's "landmark achievement."
In a press statement, S&P analyst John Sugden said, "New Jersey continues to struggle with structural imbalance. The governor's decision to delay pension funding, while providing the necessary tools for cash management and budget control, has significant negative implications for the state's liability profile."
When I noted the other day that Christie has only been in office five years, and he had time to break his own downgrade record, I didn't think it would happen quite this quickly.
I have no idea what the governor will do to explain this once he hits the presidential campaign trail, but it's not hard to imagine his Republican rivals putting the issue to good use, especially since Christie has so little else to fall back on.
In case anyone's actually counting, here are details on the previous downgrades: first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh.
And here's Rachel segment on this from this week -- before the eighth downgrade was announced.