By Ian Bush

NEW JERSEY (CBS) — Phil Murphy’s inauguration is a little more than a month away, but New Jersey’s governor-elect has already jumped in the deep end.

He and Chris Christie have traded sharply-worded letters over the state budget.

Word-for-word, Murphy’s memo makes the same 14 requests of Christie as the current governor made to his predecessor, Jon Corzine, in the name of “ensur[ing] that these budget challenges are not worsened” before Murphy takes the reins.

In the letter obtained by Politico, the Democrat asks Christie to freeze discretionary spending. The current tactic for avoiding a potential $1 billion-plus deficit is based on what Murphy calls “uncertain” revenue and savings.

In a four-page letter, Christie fires back: “I can only wish to have inherited a budget in the shape that I am passing to you.”

The Republican says one of his successor’s projections has no basis in reality; two others include money the legislature assumed would be realized; in all, Christie writes, “I do not believe concern about any of these items is warranted at this time.”

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