July 1st, 2014
10:15 AM ET
6 months ago

Christie gives no opinion on Hobby Lobby case

(CNN) – In a departure from other Republicans, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did not give an opinion Tuesday on the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling, arguing there was no point in making a comment about the decision.

"The fact is that when you're an executive, your Supreme Court makes a ruling and you've got to live with it unless you can get the legislative body to change the law or change the Constitution," the potential presidential candidate said on CNBC's "Squawk Box."

"The point is: Why should I give an opinion as to whether they were right or wrong? At the end of the day, they did what they did," he continued. "That's now the law of the land, unless people in the legislative branch try to change it."

In a 5-4 decision announced Monday, the Supreme Court's conservatives essentially ruled that some for-profit corporations, like Hobby Lobby, have religious rights and cannot be required to pay to cover some types of contraceptives for their employees.

The ruling was considered a big setback to the Affordable Care Act and the Obama administration. Republicans, including some potential presidential candidates, widely praised the decision, while Democrats were quick to blast it.

Christie argued it's best for political leaders not to get bogged down on social issues, including the Hobby Lobby case.

"I don't think that's the most central issue that we need to talk about this morning when you look at the challenges that face this country," he said. "If I allow people to put me in the box, then shame on me. I'm not a good politician. I'm not a good leader."

Christie, who personally opposes abortions and frequently points out that he's the first "pro-life" governor of New Jersey, said Republicans should be careful about getting caught up in social debates.

"The Republican candidate should tell people what they feel on issue that people ask you about. If you get asked a question. Answer it. That's all," he said.

In the interview Tuesday, Christie also weighed in on the 2016 presidential race, saying he's "not running for anything at the moment" and reiterated that he hasn't made a decision yet about whether he'll throw his hat in the ring.

Asked if he'll be able to overcome the George Washington Bridge scandal that roiled his administration, Christie argued that people in other states don't express concern about the controversy when he travels as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

"I think what the people across this country–and I've been in 19 states now over the past four or five months or so–and what people talk to me about is not that stuff," he said.

Christie has long maintained that he had no knowledge or involvement in the plot, in which two of his political appointees have been accused of creating a massive traffic jam in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

The act has been subject to investigations by the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey, a state legislative committee, and an independent law firm hired by Christie's administration.

The governor added that there hasn't been "one new fact" that indicates he's not telling the truth.

CNN's Bill Mears contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2016 • Chris Christie • New Jersey • Supreme Court
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. GOPWarOnWomen

    Imagine how different the outcome would be if WOMEN had the vote on what to do with their bodies. ALL three women of the Supreme Court ruled differently than the MEN who ruled for Hobby Lobby. Interesting.

    July 1, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    "This court decision was not about abortion. It was all about laying down the "legal" framework as part of a long term strategy with goal of granting corporations citizenship."

    Hey, Rudy. Don't forget granting baptisms. They are after all ... religious corporations. As such, they need to feel that whole immersion thingy. You know. For redemption.

    July 1, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. smith

    @Comp. in Mich.-Doesn`t matter what they wanted. The SC ruled they still have to cover 16 out of 20 forms of birth control. That fact is not being mentioned enough.

    July 1, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  4. Dr. Brown

    Its not being mentioned, because that's not what this is about, it a blatant attempt to derail the aca, its working way to good, got to do something, quick, too late see you in November.

    July 1, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  5. smith

    @Dr. Brown-Ahh, the ol` robin hood politics. Take from the rich and give it to the poor. The 1% can`t pay for it all, thats wishful thinking at best. Besides the 1% pay more in taxes in one year than most people pay in a lifetime.

    July 1, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. Fair is Fair

    smith

    @Comp. in Mich.-Doesn`t matter what they wanted. The SC ruled they still have to cover 16 out of 20 forms of birth control. That fact is not being mentioned enough.
    ----------
    That's because it's a pesky detail that doesn't fit their narrative, smith.

    July 1, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Lynda/Minnesota

    "This court decision was not about abortion. It was all about laying down the "legal" framework as part of a long term strategy with goal of granting corporations citizenship."

    Hey, Rudy. Don't forget granting baptisms. They are after all ... religious corporations. As such, they need to feel that whole immersion thingy. You know. For redemption.
    ==============================================================
    We laugh about it now. But, at the rate that we're going, corporations will be voting by 2020.

    July 1, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. just asking

    Rudy NY
    We laugh about it now. But, at the rate that we're going, corporations will be voting by 2020.
    --

    so what if they did, it would still be far fewer votes than all the fraudulent votes the democrats generate in every election.

    July 1, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    What's the matter CNN my previous post was too much? Makes you think too much?
    Let me try this again.
    What would have been the reaction if instead of the Mormons from hobby lobby all this hoopla would have been about a Muslim craft store telling their employees what to do, even if they are not Muslims, with their lives and bodies?

    July 1, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. Turdgyl

    Gurgyl

    -sorry I was out of country all these days.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Welcomes to back! ACA is law...

    July 1, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Rudy: "We laugh about it now. But, at the rate that we're going, corporations will be voting by 2020."

    I know, Rudy. I laugh about a great many things. But, inside?

    There's no going back. And there is no going forward unless the GOP gets its act together. Frankly, I don't see ANY leadership coming out of that party in the next few years.

    The opposite, actually.

    July 1, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. Dr. Brown

    Won't solve the problem alone but our country was greatest when the top tax rate was 90%, its the whole 39%, that drops to 13*15% that gets me, Romney wouldn't answer what"loopholes" he would close to offset reducing the top tax rate to 1.8%,, the word loophole was intentionally misleading, people relate that to big business, but he was referring to eic, our 401 k being taxed, your employer healthcare contribution, but wouldn't say it directly. Expert economists are in disagreement with you, but hey, what would they know, we've got the gop to tell us what to believe, drink up boys, its on the house.

    July 1, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  13. Dr. Brown

    Its soooo unfair, right, I can see that, our economy suffers with this level of inequality, and at one point it will all break, then were all screwed, when there is do much money at the top you don't have a functioning economy, more money to the top is the answer. I don't think we all should live the same, but at this level it affects our recovery. You still don't think they are evil, there is a lot to explain then. Education, like what the gop is doing, go ahead research it, its disgusting

    July 1, 2014 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  14. Fair is Fair

    Dr. Brown

    Won't solve the problem alone but our country was greatest when the top tax rate was 90%
    -----------
    That's a very old, tired, and exceptionally misleading democratic talking point. To clean it up, I suggest you explain to the class that along with the 90% rate:

    1. On what level of income was the 90% levied on?
    2. How many people were subjected to that rate?
    3. What exemptions to income were allowed at the time that rate was in place?
    4. What was the total % of revenue to the government which came directly from that 90% rate?
    5. What were the loopholes available to those who would have been subject to that rate?

    Waiting....

    July 1, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. Dr. Brown

    Excellent point Marie, crickets of course .

    July 1, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  16. tom l

    Marie MD

    What's the matter CNN my previous post was too much? Makes you think too much?
    =======

    I assure you, that is not the case.

    July 1, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  17. smith

    @Marie-You do realize the SC ruling only exempted HL from four forms of birth control they still have to cover the other sixteen. Thats not telling someone what to do with their lives or bodies and no one is forcing anyone to work there in the first place.

    July 1, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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