When he hits the campaign trail these days, Governor Christie denounces the nation's economy under President Obama, decrying unemployment and thundering that change is desperately needed.
But when it comes to his own state, no governor in America is more upbeat than Christie, despite warnings from several economic experts that his optimism is misplaced.
A review of the budgets of all 50 states shows that when Christie projected earlier this year that New Jersey's revenue would swell by 7.4 percent over the next fiscal year, his forecast was the highest jump of any of the 50 states - and more than double the national average of 2.8 percent.
The review shows the governor was far more optimistic than his counterparts in New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware, which have lower unemployment rates than New Jersey but are forecasting revenue growth under 4.7 percent for next year. When $530.8 million from tax cuts are factored in, Christie is actually expecting a more robust 9.2 percent increase in revenue.
The next cheeriest states are Hawaii and Idaho, which both expect a 5.8 percent boost in revenue. Ohio is the most pessimistic, predicting revenue will drop by 3 percent, the review found.
But are New Jerseyans really in the midst of an economic miracle or is this political wishful thinking?
Brigid Harrison, a political science professor at Montclair State University, said Christie's projections were "an election-year budget."
"You'd be hard-pressed to find any economist to agree with those predictions," Harrison said.
The promise of higher revenue lends credibility to Christie's claim of a New Jersey "comeback," a catchphrase emblazoned on banners at his town hall meetings and repeated during his many radio and national television appearances. Nor will the picture he has painted hurt as he competes for the spotlight at the Republican National Convention in August.
Jarrett Renshaw is a reporter for The Star-Ledger.