Editor’s Note: This article was updated with a tweet from Sweeney.
President Donald Trump on Monday congratulated New Jersey legislators for passing a budget without a millionaire’s tax.
“Congratulations to legislators in New Jersey for not passing taxes that would have driven large numbers of high end taxpayers out of the state,” Trump said. “Many were planning to leave, & will now be staying. New York & others should start changing their thought process on taxes, fast!”
During the closing days of the now-concluded budget fight, Senate President Steve Sweeney more than once compared Gov. Phil Murphy to Trump, a stinging attack for New Jersey’s progressive governor.
But, Trump’s weighing in on the side of legislators, who opposed Murphy’s signature proposal for a tax on high earners, has Murphy and his allies smiling.
“We all know @realDonaldTrump is fighting for millionaires like himself,” Murphy tweeted. “I’m fighting for New Jersey’s middle class and all those working to get there.”
Sweeney didn’t take the praise lying down.
“.@realdonaldtrump, what you missed is our budget is both fiscally responsible and fair to working people, caring for those most in need – things you have failed to do,” Sweeney said. “Budgets should not serve to punish the poor, the middle class, the rich or anyone.”