Speaking yesterday at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C., New Jersey Governor Chris Christie told a welcoming audience that politics crushed a tax cut deal he had reached with Democratic leaders in the legislature.

He explains, “We had an agreement until normal politics set back in.”

Christie says Garden State Democrats thought, “It was more important for me not to be able to go to the Republican National Convention and say that I got a tax cut for the people of our state than it was to give the tax cut.”

The Governor explains that he’s been telling Democrats, “Making our state more competitive and giving our taxpayers some relief was extraordinarily important, much more important than the politics of the day especially for a speech that I have not yet been invited to give at a convention I know I’ll attend, but that I have absolutely no knowledge at the moment whether I’ll even be speaking at the convention.”

Every time Christie addresses a national audience, Democrats call it another stop on his ‘Tampa Try-Out Tour.’

“New Jerseyans are suffering under Governor Christie’s policies, yet he seems more interested in auditioning for another job,” says Assembly Democratic Leader Lou Greenwald. “The Governor’s attention needs to be on middle-class tax relief and fixing the policies that have hurt New Jersey’s middle-class, not on his personal ambitions.”

Christie says overall he’s happy with the Fiscal Year 2013 spending plan he signed two Fridays ago but, “There’s one thing that did not happen that I think should’ve happened and we’re going to continue to talk about. That’s a tax cut for middle class New Jerseyans.”

The State Budget does include $183 million that’s been set aside to enact a tax cut in January if revenues hit the Governor’s targets. Democrats say that is the fiscally responsible thing to do.