Christie defends RGA chairmanship amid fiscal mess in N.J.
May 21st, 2014
12:47 PM ET
4 months ago

Christie defends RGA chairmanship amid fiscal mess in N.J.

(CNN) - Gov. Chris Christie, who chairs the Republican Governors Association, argued Wednesday that fiscal problems back at home in New Jersey aren't clouding his leadership abilities at the RGA.

The group has been aggressively pushing a message that states are better off economically under Republican governors. Christie was asked at a press conference in New York whether that same argument can be made in the Garden State.

The governor pointed to a drop in the unemployment rate since he became governor in 2009 and made the case that the Garden State has a more difficult political climate than other states with Republican governors.

"I often am jealous of my three colleagues up here who have Republican legislatures who could actually have Republican policies implemented, where in my state, everything that I've had to do has been the issue of a compromise or battle with the Democratic legislature," he said.

Christie was sitting alongside Govs. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Mike Pence of Indiana at the RGA press event.

"Every state is going to be different," he added.

Christie announced Tuesday that he'll have to slash pension payments in order to close an unexpected $800 million budget shortfall. The move comes as New Jersey has seen six credit downgrades by credit rating agencies since he became governor, in part because of the state's $52 billion pension debt

The potential GOP presidential contender already made major reforms to the pension system in his first term, and he's still urging for more changes. He defended his economic record Wednesday, saying he's had to compromise at times with the Democratic-controlled legislature but he has also vetoed every income tax hike proposal he's received.

"Given the success the RGA's had in the first five-six months of the leadership of me and Governor (Bobby) Jindal in terms of raising money and expanding the map, I don't think anyone's concerned about whether or not me or Bobby can make the case," he said.

Jindal, who's also mulling a White House bid, was RGA chairman last year and currently serves as vice chairman.

Haley also defended Christie at the event Wednesday.

"Let's be clear, we would not want him to give up the chairmanship. He completely has the backing of all of the Republican governors. He's been a rock star," she said, citing his fundraising ability and efforts to spread their message. "We wouldn't let him step down."

Haley is running for re-election this year.


Filed under: 2014 • Chris Christie • Nikki Haley • RGA
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Christie was sitting alongside Govs. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Scott Walker of Wisconsin .

    The Big guy has sank to new lows , maybe it was a bridge too far !

    You are the company you keep !

    May 21, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    "I often am jealous of my three colleagues up here who have Republican legislatures who could actually have Republican policies implemented, where in my state, everything that I've had to do has been the issue of a compromise or battle with the Democratic legislature," he said."

    Oh hey. Love the "woe is me". For a self made bully, Chris Christie is becoming really impressive at acting the wimp. No more "I'm A Compromising Bi-Partisan Moderate" for him. Cool.

    So, Chris. How's that split legislation working for Obama? Yeah. I thought so.

    May 21, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  3. Tommy G

    Democrats have saddled NJ with over $150 BILLION in debt and unfunded obligations. Christie can only do so much, so fast, especially with Democrats in control of the NJ legislature. And all of the Democrats are now wasting millions of dollars on a politically motivated witch hunt in order to smear Christie.

    May 21, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  4. Tampa Tim

    Krispy is a true representative of republican economics. Give tax cuts to big corporations which result in 6 credit downgrades and a $2.5 billion shortfall. Then pay for it with policemen, firemen, snowplow drivers and teachers pensions. This will result in the wealthy donating big bucks to the GOP.

    May 21, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. O'drama ya Mama

    He shouldnt have to juggle his chairmanship and his job as governor. If he is failing at governing, which should be his top priority, he has no right to hold any further responsibilities

    May 21, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  6. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    When are you dummies gonna come to terms with this fact. When republicans get their greedy mitts on the economy, they screw it up something awful. It's just a fact of life.

    May 21, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. guest

    it is the fault of the people that worked life long careers to earn those pensions. They should have been born rich and never need to work in the first place. The people born rich are the ones really suffering in this country, they have to suffer the sight of 'everyday people' as they are chauffeured around. 'Every day' people that work every day should have to hide and avert their eyes when they see their betters. Who do they think they are, expecting to be paid money they worked their entire life to earn?!

    May 21, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  8. bubba, loyal republican

    So, when Obama meets resistance its still his fault, but not the case with the Republican Christie, man, you can't make this stuff up, the hypocracy is undeniable, yet the rwnj will do exactly that.

    May 21, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "Given the success the RGA's had in the first five-six months of the leadership of me and Governor (Bobby) Jindal..... I don't think anyone's concerned about whether or not me or Bobby"
    -------------------------------------------------
    Maybe if you learned you some grammar somebody might buy whatever it is you're selling.

    May 21, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. Dead Bear

    I hope every Republican governor up for re-election loses while this crook is chairman.

    May 21, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    This has been the pattern in New Jersey for a long time. Democrats pay into the pensions, while Republicans do not.

    May 21, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  12. dannytelevision

    " he has been a rock star" ...yeah Meatloaf

    May 21, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda Minnesota
    So, Chris. How's that split legislation working for Obama? Yeah. I thought so
    -------------------------------------------------
    Christie bragged about being able to work with the Democrats in his legislature while he was campaigning in is mostly Democrat-leaning state for re-election.
    Now it would appear that having moslty Democrats in his legislature is a hindrance that is holding him back from being the super Governor that he knows he would be otherwise.
    Sigh..
    Greetings to you my friend. Still neck-deep in training. Perhaps we'll become re-acquainted in the fall. Miss you and the gang.... :(

    May 21, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  14. TONE

    Republican governors around the country are failures idiots need to stop voting for them.

    May 21, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    "I often am jealous of my three colleagues up here who have Republican legislatures who could actually have Republican policies implemented, where in my state, everything that I've had to do has been the issue of a compromise or battle with the Democratic legislature," he said.
    --------------------------
    If I'm not mistaken, his chore of dealing with a Democratic majority is aided by his having a line item veto pen. it gives him the power to say, "My way, or the highway."

    May 21, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  16. salty dog

    I keep telling you guys, Tommy's a genius, now that's funny!

    May 21, 2014 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Greetings to you my friend. Still neck-deep in training. Perhaps we'll become re-acquainted in the fall. Miss you and the gang.... :(

    Hey. : ) So good to "see" you! I'm winding down from politics myself. After being cooped up all winter, I really don't think I can tolerate much more foolishness for any real length of time. Looking forward to fun in the sun. And, yes. Absolutely I'll met you back here in fall.

    If we don't catch up now and again ... have a great and safe summer ... !

    May 21, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  18. tom l

    "I often am jealous of my three colleagues up here who have Republican legislatures who could actually have Republican policies implemented, where in my state, everything that I've had to do has been the issue of a compromise or battle with the Democratic legislature," he said."
    ======

    Wow does that sound exactly like Obama and the gang.

    May 21, 2014 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. salty dog

    Tom: yet he managed to move us out of a deep recession, and Christie economics are the same bush used to help crash our economy, when will you learn the gop wants another recession, look at the growth in inequality since then. 1% took 95% of all wealth tom, and you know the Republicans plan is to give that group even more than that, do you honestly believe that will work, if so I would argue that the level of wealth they have achieved, has not produced the results they promise: but it did deliver the results they were trying to achieve, that is why they are so gun ho on more tax breaks for them: all the while expert economists are shaking their collective heads.

    May 21, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. tom l

    salty,
    the recession ended in June of 2009. I do not like the system now and believe the tax system is horribly wrong today and that's why I would like to see a flat tax with little to no deductions so we can alleviate the problem of lobbyists buying off both parties. And the policies that Obama has put in place have exacerbated the inequality you speak of, he hasn't helped it, he's made it worse.

    May 21, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. Hank

    Christie let Norcross control the money, jobs and media in NJ

    May 21, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Sure attention seeker, but tell that to the millions that were out of work and unable to find a job in June 2009. I was one of them. And there were millions more. Maybe the recession was officially over in June 2009 for the wealthy but it wasn't for the average person just trying to keep a roof over their family's head and food in their bellies. Many people couldn't find jobs until 2011.

    May 21, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. conniesz

    California is so much better under Jerry Brown than his Republicak predecessors it isn't even funny. Since California's economy is much bigger than any other state (yes, even bigger than New York's) it seems to me that we should be looking to progressive Democratic leaders to solve financial problems. Of course the state I am from, Colorado, has been doing just fine under Democratic leadership as well.

    May 21, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. CryBabies

    DM4O..Grammar....I keep telling Gurgylthe same thing......obviously I'm not getting through. How my know where your grammar go? Vote straight Democrat ticket, and on and on and on and on and on and.....................

    May 21, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |