BELMAR - Speaking from Belmar, a town especially hard-hit by Sandy, Gov. Chris Christie defended his State of the State address and its focus on Sandy recovery.

The governor was on hand for the ceremonial kickoff for the town's boardwalk rebuilding project. He once again drove home the message that rebuilding and recovering from Sandy is his top priority for the year ahead.

Immediately following yesterday's address, Democrats criticized the governor for focusing too much on Sandy recovery while ignoring other issues affecting the state, like unemployment levels and poverty.

Senate President Steve Sweeney suggested that Christie didn't mention revenues or jobs because the governor doesn't have a plan for them.

Despite the criticism, Christie says Sandy recovery will remain the state's top priority, and joked that the criticism doesn't affect his personal relationships with his political opponents.

On Sweeney, the governor joked "I love him, but our love is strained."

Federal money will be key to getting the rebuilding process up to speed.

The vote on $50 billion worth of aid is scheduled for next Tuesday.