Christie stays mostly quiet on shutdown politics
October 9th, 2013
05:44 PM ET
11 months ago

Christie stays mostly quiet on shutdown politics

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Washington (CNN) - Chris Christie is known to speak his mind, but Wednesday he didn't have much to say about the politics behind the government shutdown and debt ceiling impasse.

The Republican governor of New Jersey and possible 2016 presidential contender, who made a brief appearance on Capitol Hill, was asked by CNN if he thinks congressional Republicans are helping or hurting the GOP by their actions on the budget impasse and the impending debt ceiling deadline.

But Christie, who's up for re-election in less than four weeks, didn't bite.

"I got a race in 27 days guys and that's completely my focus. I'm trying to be re-elected as governor and my job is to work on the problems of New Jersey and that's what I'm doing," responded Christie.

Christie was in the nation's capital to spend time with Republican Sen. Jeff Chiesa of New Jersey, as the lawmaker's interim appointment draws to a close.

In June, Christie appointed Chiesa, the governor's good friend and former state attorney general, to temporarily fill the seat left vacant by the death of Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

Chiesa's term ends following next week's special Senate election.

While on Capitol Hill, Christie also met with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, and other top Senate Republicans.

"I'm just down here to have a visit with the senator and he's introduced me to some of the new friends he's made in the last four and half months and that's all today is about," Christie told reporters as he departed from his meetings.

In his re-election debate Tuesday night with Democratic challenger state Sen. Barbara Buono, Christie was asked about whether his possible White House aspirations would hamper his performance as governor.

Christie said if he did end up running in 2016, it wouldn't affect his responsibilities as governor.

"I can walk and chew bubble gum at the same time," he said.

Trying to get Christie to speak out about the shutdown, a reporter on Wednesday picked up on that comment, asking Christie "didn't you say you could walk and chew gum at the same time?"

Again, Christie didn't bite, answering "sure, sure but only if I want to."

Reporters tried one last time, asking the governor if the government shutdown and possible debt breach would hurt the economy.

Christie said: "I don't think it's ever good to keep the government closed when you're job is to run the government," which appears to be a criticism of both congressional Democrats, Republicans and the White House.

Prior to the shutdown, Christie said the GOP in Congress should not be threatening to bring the government to a halt over the new national health care law.

"I think there's got to be a solution other than that," Christie said in an interview with CBS News. "I think quite frankly, to be fair, I don't think you hear responsible Republican leaders advocating a shutdown of the government."

And a few days later Christie, known for his tough talk, outlined how he'd end the standoff.

"My approach would be, as the executive, is to call in the leaders of the Congress, the legislature, whatever you're dealing with, and say we're not leaving this room until we fix this problem, because I'm the boss. I'm in charge," Christie said at an event for the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation.

"No matter where the partisanship is, the failure is in people not bringing people together to get it done," added Christie.


Filed under: Chris Christie • Government Shutdown
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "Christie says mostly quiet on shutdown politics"

    Of course he does. He's gong to be another Etch-a-sketch candidate and opening his yap one way or the other about this right now would be like putting his junk in a blender and daring someone to turn it on.

    October 9, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  2. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Christi knows that any of this GOP trash hooked up with the tea idiots can kiss their jobs GOODBY in 2014 midterms, by Scott radel, Rubio , lee Cruz, Bachman and the rest of you GOP garbage of America morons!!!!!!

    October 9, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    There's a surprise, NOT!
    How can he go against his biggest backers, the Koch brothers. Their guest list is a who's who of the teatards
    It has been noted that Christie, beck, limberger, Scalia, Thomas (SCOTUS x 2), demint, Ryan and cantor attend Koch events.
    Pretty sure Cruz and others are also invited.

    October 9, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  4. simplefaith

    Chris Christi appears to be the best the Republicans have. He says what he thinks is right and I don't think he will be a puppet. I am an Independent, but would like Hillary Clinton to be our next President, If she does not run I just may throw my vote Christi's way. Wish he would change Party and become and Independant. He would have a better chance of winning. Repubs in off up at the Capitol need to be expelled.

    October 9, 2013 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  5. roro

    Now that he's running for president, he's going to start taking a hard Republican right turn. I wish he would just go and run, and leave us poor suckers in New Jersey alone. We're 41st in the nation in unemployment, and even though he claims to have lowered property taxes, mine have risen quite a bit. He's just a lying, big mouthed bully – a perfect fit with the Tea Party idiots. To paraphrase Henny Youngman: Take my governor – please.

    October 9, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  6. S. B. Stein

    There are reasons as to why he stayed quiet. One is because he is not a member of Congress. The second is that he doesn't want to hurt his chances at running in 2016.

    October 9, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  7. Woman In California

    Christie quiet? No, he's just catching his breath before he goes off on someone else. Typical classless republican.

    October 9, 2013 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  8. Bhawk1

    Hope the guy emerges as the Republican leader , and I am a yellow dog. But he is one that even a yellow dog could have confidence in to not go off the edge. Might even vote for him–course I voted for Nixon once in 72

    October 9, 2013 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  9. Notastandupguy

    No courage what so ever

    October 9, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  10. Cephus

    Amazing grace how sweet that sounds~~~

    October 9, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  11. Kinard

    He knows there's no winning side to this dispute. Gotta give him credit for recognizing this fact, if nothing else.

    October 9, 2013 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  12. Thomas

    Never insult those you will be asking for campaign contributions in the future .

    October 9, 2013 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  13. lewtwo

    Christie may have a weight problem but he is not fool enough to touch the current GOP shenanigans.

    October 9, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  14. Martha

    There is no hope for the GOP when even Big Chris is afraid to call the Tea Baggers out on their destructive behavior. I am disappointed the plain speaking New Jersey Gov can't speak truth to the powers on his own party. As to his ambitions in 2016, I say, "Fergettaboutit.". He's lost my vote.

    October 10, 2013 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  15. Be Fuddled

    If shutting down the govt as an act of beligerence against Obama and this tough talk about relying on the same Obama to "bring leaders together in a room" ...is all the GOP have to offer for Cruz and Demints antics, then we're truly in trouble as a party.

    October 10, 2013 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  16. Joe Biden

    Well, he is from the jersey side of things

    October 10, 2013 07:47 am at 7:47 am |