Buffett bites back at Christie's call to 'shut up'
February 27th, 2012
03:11 PM ET
2 years ago

Buffett bites back at Christie's call to 'shut up'

(CNN) - Warren Buffett on Monday hit back against Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey for saying the billionaire investor should "just write a check and shut up" about taxes.

"It's sort of a touching response to a $1.2 trillion deficit, isn't it, that somehow the American people will just all send in checks and take care of it," Buffett said on CNBC.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

Buffett has played a prominent role in the tax debate in the last year, arguing that wealthy individuals like him pay too little in taxes.

He lent his name to a White House principle, the so-called "Buffett rule," which calls for those making more than $1 million to pay a tax rate closer to that of middle-class Americans.

President Barack Obama has even specified that he wants the rich to pay at least 30% of their income in taxes as part of a deficit reduction effort.

Last week, Christie said he was "tired of hearing about" Buffett in the national debt debate, adding that if the investor wants to make a difference, then he should donate his own money towards solving the problem.

"He should just write a check and shut up. Really, and just contribute," Christie said on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight." "If he wants to give the government more money, he's got the ability to write a check – go ahead and write it."

Christie was echoing a similar suggestion last year made by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who supported a measure in October that would allow wealthy individuals to voluntarily pay more than they owe in taxes.

In January, Buffett responded by saying he would match any contribution made by a Republican member of Congress to the Treasury to pay down debt and would triple the match for any donation by McConnell.

"It's sort of astounding to me that somebody that has the responsibility for being the minority leader in the Senate would think that you attack a $1.2 trillion or so deficit by asking for voluntary contributions," Buffett said on Monday.

He added: "The real problem we have is we're taking in too little money and we're spending too much and that's not going to be solved by voluntary contributions. What we need is a policy, a tax policy."

– CNN's Charles Riley contributed to this report.

Also see:

Gingrich tells evangelicals: 'We need to stand up for ourselves'

Limbaugh front and center in pro-Santorum mailer

Romney: 'I can't be perfect'

Graham, McCain predict big primary night for Romney


Filed under: 2012 • Chris Christie • Taxes • Warren Buffett
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Brian

    WB is the richest man in the world for a reason. Methinks the GOP's unwillingness to listen to this guy is truly ridiculous.

    February 27, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. obama victim

    write a check old man.....I have an extra stamp

    February 27, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  3. lone star dem

    Chrirtie, if you want to take a stste helicopter to your kid's game, write the state a check and shut up.

    February 27, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The behemoth from New Jersey seems to get his way because he is bigger than a sumo wrestler. However, like most republicans, he is incapable of governing.

    February 27, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. Jim in San Mateo

    Warren Buffett didn't get to be one of the richest men in the world by acting the buffoon that Christie is. Christie just wants him to stop pointing out the obvious and that is that the rich do not need a tax cut. They are not so called "job creators", they are simply, and better defined as, Republican party donors.

    February 27, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. Kevin

    Thank you, Mr. Buffett! I so am glad that you dedicate your time to this matter. We really need that kind of help from you, as no matter how stupid comments are made, like that by Republican Gov. Chris Christie, many still don't understand the problem and it has to be exlained to them in plain words.

    February 27, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. Squigman

    I'd pay to hear what Warren, has to say. You couldn't print enough money to make me listen to Christie. One's self made, the other preaches that he's self made, yet collects money from the taxpayers for his living. Can you say hypocrite.

    February 27, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I am tired of hearing this rather large republican buffoon show a continual lack of leadership. He wants on Mittens VP ticket so badly, but Mittens will have to choose a crazy bagger like King in Iowa in order to get the teavangelicals out to vote.

    February 27, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I'll bet the extremely large republicans like Christie would go along with paying their fair share if they were given a super size McDonald's meal coupon from the IRS.

    February 27, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Why should we continue to be surprised by the scope of the vulgar comments made by Republicans, especially Christie?

    February 27, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. keeth

    Buffet and Obama are actually working on the problem. Christie and McConnell can only reach for 3rd grade words and ignore the problem.

    February 27, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. Name

    Thank you Mr. Buffett,for all you do.The republicans will eat crow in November and you'll have a front seat with Pres.Obama,to see it in person,Thanks again...

    February 27, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I think republicans really need to get their heads out of their butts, and realize what they have done to our country.

    February 27, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. ms

    WB is going to match checks the republicans write to go toward deficit? Well Im sure they are busy writing those out now being the patriotic concerned Americans they are....:p

    February 27, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  15. a cut above the rest

    Why do you need to be told by the Govt. how much you are to be taxed to open your wallet? I know you LOVE being held down by Govt. rules, instead of wanting a Govt. ruled by "we the poeple", so, break the mold of your desired, hypocritical socialist ways and do so! Shut and cut a check! Instead of wearing million dollar jewerly to the Oscars, have mansions, and 5 cars in a driveway, go ahead–spread the wealth! Who's stopping you? If you all can give millions like that troll Bill Maher to Obama's re-election campaign, how about sending your cash to washington, dc to pay off some of the deficit?

    Librals, all talk, no action. Total BSers!

    February 27, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Write a check? That idea makes as much sense as telling people that tax cuts to the wealthy is going to trickle down therough the economy and create jobs.

    See America? If Republicans like Chritie are unashamed to say such things in public, can you imagine what they say behind closed doors in the negotiating room?

    February 27, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    The reason for the snarky comment from Christie ( an obscure Justice Department hack in a previous career) is that Buffett does not follow the narrative the GOP thinks he should: ironic, especially in view of the charges of class warfare the GOP keeps throwing out. Buffett makes a pitch for fairness from someone who can afford it, and Christie gets all prosecutorial about it because Buffett's not intimidated by the GOP? Its a sign of how weak the GOP si, rather than their strength. I'm sure Buffett enjoyed a good laugh watching the tape of Governor Lipid telling him to shut up. Buffett's impact on this world will be remembered long after Christie is a footnote in the history of NJ.

    February 27, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. Taran

    Buffett & Soros = Obama's Koch brothers

    Democrats and Republicans, all owned by the rich. Us regular people lose no matter which side "wins."

    February 27, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  19. Dr Knowitall

    @Rudy NYC "Why should we continue to be surprised by the scope of the vulgar comments made by Republicans"

    Really Rudy ? In the course of an average day you spill out ten times the rudeness and vulgarity of any on republican politician.

    February 27, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  20. The Real Tom Paine

    Buffett will write a check the day Christie gets a lipo, a cut above. While you're at it, stop being a hypocrite and make sure everyone's kid does not ahve an eduation and lives downwind of a chemical plant. Stop it with your phony BS and rage about Bill Maher, who has zero impact on your life( if he does, you need to read something, other than what propaganda Beck and O'Reilly tell you to). Conservatives are all talk and wait for someone else to clean up their mess.

    February 27, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  21. nothing new here

    I agree with Christie...up to a point.
    It should not take an act of Congress for wealthy people to do the right thing, in paying their fair share of taxes, that is.
    However, there are a lot of tax loopholes that need to be addressed.
    The way taxes are levied and colllected needs to be re-evaluated. As far as I'm concerned, even churches and non-profs should pay a minimum preset amount.

    February 27, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    Its to counteract the bile, lies and distortions the righties put out everyday, knowitall.

    February 27, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  23. luckyone4

    Odt 11th 2011 Chris Christie endorses Romney, because "His success in the private sector." All due respect Gov. Christie (not that you have shown any to Warren Buffett) but when it comes to success in the private sector, Warren Buffet equals 60 Mitt Romney's. I have to question weather or not your concerns are with paying down the deficit, or securing a tax cut for the richest 1%. Your words are paper thin. And we can only hope Mr Buffett doesn't take you out behind the wood shed and teach you how to respect your elders. (And superiors)

    February 27, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  24. Namejkane fl

    I think the fat republicans should send a fat check and shut his fat mouth, Obama landslide coming!!!!

    February 27, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  25. logicnLA

    Bullies always call people names, hit, or push their victims. That's because they have no logical response to a situation.

    February 27, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
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