Christie runs the gamut
January 9th, 2013
11:12 AM ET
2 years ago

Christie runs the gamut

(CNN) – In a series of wide-ranging interviews Wednesday morning, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sidestepped more questions about his potential interest in a presidential run and pushed for an expansive debate on gun violence.

His comments came one day after the Republican governor gave his annual State of the State address, a high-profile speech that focused almost entirely on recovery efforts from Superstorm Sandy.

But Wednesday morning, Christie was eager to talk about more issues, including the ramped up debate on firearms, as well as the upcoming fiscal showdowns in Washington.

The governor in particular argued that any conversation on gun regulations must also feature discussions about mental health illness and violence in video games. Pressed on whether he'd support a federal assault weapons ban–a proposal floating around in Washington–Christie said he couldn't give a strict "yes" or "no" answer.

"It's not that easy," he said on NBC's "Today." "The fact is these are complicated issues, and my point is I'm willing to have that conversation. Now that's a lot more than what other people are willing to say...But you've got to deal with these other issues, otherwise you're just being political."

Video games should especially be addressed, Christie added, arguing they have a desensitizing effect on children. He said substance abuse should also be looked at as a factor in violence, telling a story about a woman on crack who decapitated her own baby.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence ranks New Jersey as having the second toughest gun laws in the country–a point Christie made sure to mention in his interviews. Asked why he never brought up the issue in his big address Tuesday, Christie said everyone has to pick and choose what they're going to say.

"I really thought that given what's happened in our state, that the majority of time should be spent on talking about Sandy," he said on ABC's "This Week," adding they'll have "plenty of time" to talk about other issues.

Asked what strategy the Republican Party should take in the looming debates on debt, Christie argued the GOP needs to "stand firm on getting some real significant spending reductions."

"We've now done what the president wanted us to do. He wanted to raise taxes on the highest earning Americans, and Republicans have now acquiesced to that," he said on NBC. "Now it's time for the president to stand up and say here's what I'm going to do on spending."

Some in his own party blasted Christie for praising President Barack Obama's handling of the aftermath following Superstorm Sandy. The two were complimentary of each other when they appeared together to survey the deadly storm's damage, less than a week before the election.

But Christie said when it comes to policy, it's different. There's no 'bromance,' so to say.

"I don't offer my advice to the president in that way. What I've dealt with the president on is Hurricane Sandy. That's what the nature of our relationship is," he said on NBC.

As for his prospects in 2016, Christie said his focus is his current job–where he has approval ratings over 70%–but conceded he would be more ready in four years than he was in 2011, when he was courted by several donors to run for president.

And while Christie was quick to repeatedly define his state as a model for bipartisan success, given that he works with a Democratic legislature, the governor said 2016 is still too far away.

"Anybody who tries to plan four years from now, you know, is crazy," he said on ABC. "The fact of the matter is I'm going to do the job my mother gave me, which is to do the job that you have right now as well as you can do it. And your future will take care of itself.'"

According to a CNN/ORC International Poll released mid-December, 59% of Republicans said they are very or somewhat likely to support Christie for the GOP nomination in 2016. The only person with higher numbers was Rep. Paul Ryan, Romney's running mate in 2012, who had support from 75% of Republicans.

After his high-profile attacks on House Speaker John Boehner last week over a delayed vote on the federal relief package, Christie pushed back against questions that he may have trouble in winning support from party leadership should he decide to run.

"I think that if you have views where you're being effective and you're getting things done for the people, then anybody, not just me, anybody can win," he said on the CBS program, "This Morning."

– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2016 • Chris Christie • Gun rights • New Jersey
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    Oh please, christie,cost us the election. Why would we turn around and vote for him to be the next President? he gave his body away in a sudden love fest for Obama,in order to get the money faster. he is nothing more then a political tramp. I dont like him and i will never trust him. And anyway come 2016 he will aleast 500 poumds,to fat to serv.

    January 9, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  2. Sniffit

    It's almost 4 years until 2016, so we're still in the zone of "1 per day" for shameless preparatory articles promoting Christie's POTUS run in hopes of assuring a close "horse race" narrative in 2016. In a few months or so, CNN will ramp it up to 2 per day.

    January 9, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  3. Canuck

    "Oh please, christie,cost us the election"

    Really???? Nothing to do with your candidate being a completely out-of-touch flip-flopper??? Christie has way too much integrity for today's GOP.

    January 9, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    J'Cincinnati'Redd

    Oh please, christie,cost us the election. Why would we turn around and vote for him to be the next President?
    ----------------
    Good question. Christie wins elections and has an approval rating of over 70% with Democrats. Why would you vote for a winner when the right wing prefers voting for losers? If it were not for the Tea Party, Republicans would probably control both chambers of Congress and the White House.

    January 9, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. Bill from GA

    Christie says: "We've now done what the president wanted us to do. He wanted to raise taxes on the highest earning Americans, and Republicans have now acquiesced to that,"

    I seem to recall the President wanted taxes raised on income above $250K, not $400K. Conveniently , the repubs claim they gave the Prez all he asked for. Christie wants to be known as a 'straight shooter'. He's already lying like a republican.

    "Now it's time for the president to stand up and say here's what I'm going to do on spending."

    Yeah, right after the Federal government rebuilds the Jersey Shore, just like it was before the recent storm. Didn't his fellow repubs object, supposedly, because of the spending required? Typical repub: Cut spending, just not mine."

    January 9, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. Jason

    I think this man is a Democrat pretending to be republican.

    January 9, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. Ancient Texan

    Betting he has far less support among Conservatives than he had prior to his Big Obama Publicity tour appearance prior to the election.

    January 9, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Jason wrote:

    I think this man is a Democrat pretending to be republican.
    -------------
    According to the polls, yours is definitely the minority opinion.

    January 9, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. Anne

    I agree with him on gun control and video game violence but I didn't like what he did before the election. And he did it for nothing, which proves he is a bad negotiator. President Obama came quickly for the photo op and now NJ is still waiting for money. Reports are that Sandy response is worse than Katrina, right? What was the deal?

    January 9, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. ST

    I do wonder no one dares to ask him what steps he is taking to combat his weight. This is more important than what he is doing for people in NJ.

    January 9, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It would be nice if he weren't so ideological. He proposed a income tax cut when there are still things that need to be either paid (pension liability among others) for or cleaned up (better working between government agencies). His abrasive maner is befitting a bully and not a governor.

    January 9, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. illinidiva

    I wonder if all this strange new respect that liberal Democrats have for Krispy Kreme will continue when he starts lambasting Obama in 2014 in order to get on the conservatives good side again. Methinks that it will evaporate quickly as will the 70% approval rating. Frankly, the guy is a bully and self-serving blowhard. He doesn't have the temperment to be President.

    As a sidenote, I keep hearing that the Sandy photo-op didn't cost Romney the election. I'm of the opinion that it did and I think that liberals secretly know this as well. Why else would they suddenly be in love with a supposedly "conservative" blowhard that has the same opinion of unions as Scott Walker unless he did something for them (like bail out their lord and savior, Barry)?

    January 9, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "President Obama came quickly for the photo op and now NJ is still waiting for money. Reports are that Sandy response is worse than Katrina, right? What was the deal?"

    Ask the GOP-controlled House "what was the deal." They control the purse strings, Boehner canceled any vote on it prior to NYE, there was a whole bunch of publicity of Christie and other GOPers criticizing Boehner and the House GOP for failing to act with any urgency AND the 67 votes AGAINST aid for Sandy victims, once a bill finally was put up for vote, were ALL Republicans. The delay has nothing to do with Obama or the Dems. The GOP/Teatrolls OWN IT COMPLETELY.

    January 9, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. Nick

    Mr. Christie would fit just right into that 'oval office'...

    January 9, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. Marie Anti

    Nobody is perfect. ...not President Obama and certainly not Governor Christie. BUT..........Governor Christie is not afraid to speak his mind, no matter who threatens him..................the right, the left or the middle. We need a president who is not persuaded by extremists like the tea party crazies or the extreme leftists. I'm a democrat but would vote Republican in a heartbeat if Governor Christie would run in 2016.

    January 9, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    illinidiva wrote:

    ...As a sidenote, I keep hearing that the Sandy photo-op didn't cost Romney the election. I'm of the opinion that it did and I think that liberals secretly know this as well. Why else would they suddenly be in love with a supposedly "conservative" blowhard that has the same opinion of unions as Scott Walker unless he did something for them (like bail out their lord and savior, Barry)?
    -------------–
    Never heard of misdirection? Conservatives still cannot figure out why Romney lost. Nearly 40% blame Acorn for illegal voter registration and just as many blame Christie. Democrats know Christie had nothing to do with why Romney lost.

    Go back and look at the polls. Romney's poll ratings were beginning a free fall before the storm hit. Romney saw a 10 point negative swing, his losses and Obama's gains, in the polls. That was a direct result of the misleading Jeep/Chrysler ad that his campaign put out and defended.

    January 9, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. Larry Moniz in New Jersey

    A whole lot of elected politicians, allegedly elected to represent the people and do their business, should pay particular attention to Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor who seems to be the only one with his head on straight when it comes to "gun control." He pointed out some of the elements that lead to gun violence: Mental Illness, Drug Abuse, and Video Games that desensitize youngsters to the dangers of weaponry. Unfortunately, he left out two other key causes - gratuitous violence in Motion Pictures and on Television. At this rate, he may be the most lucid, capable candidate for the Presidential Election. I voted for Obama because Romney seemed unable to grasp the issues of importance to voters. Christie appears just the opposite with a good handle on the real issues of importance to Americans. I see no other potential candidate with comparable wisdom on either the Democrat or Republican sides of the great divide that is our country today.

    January 9, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Tree

    He a big FAKE......WORDS

    January 9, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. Anne

    Sniffit

    "President Obama came quickly for the photo op and now NJ is still waiting for money. Reports are that Sandy response is worse than Katrina, right? What was the deal?"

    Ask the GOP-controlled House "what was the deal." They control the purse strings, Boehner canceled any vote on it prior to NYE, there was a whole bunch of publicity of Christie and other GOPers criticizing Boehner and the House GOP for failing to act with any urgency AND the 67 votes AGAINST aid for Sandy victims, once a bill finally was put up for vote, were ALL Republicans. The delay has nothing to do with Obama or the Dems. The GOP/Teatrolls OWN IT COMPLETELY.

    ***
    ok, exactly what I am saying.. he kissed the wrong hand! And based on your logic, President Obama's visit and photo op had little impact on solving the real problem, therefore it only served him for being re-elected.

    January 9, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. The REAL Truth...

    @Anne – President Obama came quickly for the photo op and now NJ is still waiting for money. Reports are that Sandy response is worse than Katrina, right? What was the deal?
    -------------------------------------
    The deal was that the Grand Obstructionist Party continued to do what they have done in Congress for the last four years. NOTHING – but try to make the POTUS look bad. And add anti-abortion and Defense spending increase riders to EVERY piece of legislation so they can blame Reid for not passing it in the Senate.
    Did you know there was over $300 Million for the USPS – plus a bunch of other "pork" included in the recent Sandy Relief bill ?????????

    January 9, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. The REAL Truth...

    @J'Cincinnati'Redd – Oh please, christie,cost us the election. Why would we turn around and vote for him to be the next President? he gave his body away in a sudden love fest for Obama,in order to get the money faster. he is nothing more then a political tramp. I dont like him and i will never trust him.
    -------------------------------------
    Christie DIDN'T cost the Repugs the election!!!! Mittens, the Teapugs and the rest of the Grand Obstructionist Party made that happen all on their little own-somes !! The fact that the RW nuts can even begin to blame him for stepping up to working with the POTUS and taking care of his constituents – they job he was ELECTED to do BTW – is so juvenile. The Repug party is definitely on the right track to snuff its own candle out in 2014.. LOL.

    January 9, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  22. Wake up People!

    Thank you Sniffit, Rudy, and the REAL Truth. I keep posting some of the same things that you do but for some reason they keep getting moderated out.

    @Anne, I could care less that Christy finally showed the POTUS some respect. Go back and check my comments, I said the same thing when it first happened. He was doing his job and is already back to making snide comments about President Obama. But I'm like an elephant, I NEVER FORGET. Pigs will fly before I vote for Christy.

    January 9, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. Woman In California

    It won't take long before Christy's lovefest with democrats DISAPPEARS. Since he's such a big man, it's sometimes hard to see through him-but make no mistake, he's the same ill mannered, loud mouthed, overrated bully he was when he proudly stood by Willard. I agree with Wake up People! Pigs will fly before I vote for Christy.

    January 9, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. Woman In California

    @Anne
    We could go on forever arguing what cost Willard the election but I think this played the biggest part:

    Our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term. M. Connell.

    Americans didn't like the part of "jobs" being left out of that equation and they never forgot it.

    January 9, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. Larry in Houston

    christie needs a years of schooling in "anger management" + he needs to get on the biggest loser – when I saw him on the Today Show this morning – I thought he was going to bust that chair down when he was sitting on it. I think that's why he only sat on part of it. Can you imagine if he broke that chair, while he was getting interviewed ? What would matt laur have done ?

    January 9, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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