(CNN) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday there’s far too many people sitting in prisons for non-violent drug crimes and called on Republicans to focus on people not just before they’re born but after as well.
“I’m pro-life and if you’re pro-life you have to be pro-life when they get out of the womb also,” Christie said in an appearance at the Aspen Institute in Colorado, similar to comments he made last month at a major social conservative gathering in the nation's capital.
Christie was in Colorado for events associated with his role as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
Thursday night’s event was a panel with other Republican governors including, Rick Scott of Florida, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Scott Walker of Wisconsin.
Christie said the justice system must stop stigmatizing the disease of drug addiction and focus more on rehabilitation.
“We don’t give them any kind of significant treatment, long-range treatment, and then we release them. And then we wonder why they go back and commit more crimes to support their habit,” Christie said.
The potential 2016 presidential candidate also said giving drug addicts treatment instead of prison time would help the economy too.
“You get someone off of drugs and back into a productive life, that not only helps society and our economy financially but it also makes us feel better about who we are,” Christie said.
The U.S. Sentencing Commission voted last week to reduce some the sentences of some drug offenders in federal prisons after Attorney General Eric Holder called for it.
The vote still needs to be approved by Congress and prisoners would have to apply for the reductions.
Meanwhile, Christie encouraged the GOP to focus on its core values while changing the norms for punishment in the war on drugs.
“If we are a party that believes that every life is precious and that no one, no one should be deprived of a second chance, well then we need to get on that issue,” Christie said.
Chris Christie's 'pro-life' message
Last month Christie was well received as he spoke at the fifth annual Road to the Majority conference, which is organized by Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition.
Christie touted his credentials on important social issues, and framed the issue of drug addiction and treatment in a social conservative way.
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report
The last time Republicans cared about me, I was a fetus.
" We have conservatives that gag if someone has to apply for food stamps." Until they need it themselves, and then they say proudly "But I am WHITE and deserve this!!"
"The decision to have an abortion is a personal choice that some people make. " I hate it myself, but it's none of my business. I don't feel as if some deity has given me the task of making sure every woman who makes a mistake has to raise a baby. The point is to keep women legally the property of men, and right now we can still make laws about their junk while they can't make laws about ours. This is because women don't vote.
sounds too intelligent for a consrvative
Fair is Fair
"Still, what are those pro-life folks going to do when it is known that a woman is carrying the Devil's spawn?"
Pretty sure no one believes that, outside of those who think "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Omen" were documentaries. A very weak counterpoint, Rudy.
They're would abort it, that's what they're going to do. The laws were fine just the way they've been for years. No abortions after a set time period. Abortions should be permitted in the cases of rape and incest up to fixed time limit. However they handled the instances when a mother's life is in danger shouldn't be changed, either.
But, no. Along comes Rick Santorums out of the extreme right wing who does not believe in freedom of religion. He thinks that "the 1st Amendment got it wrong." He thinks America is a Christian nation, which should be run by theocrats like himself. For a bunch of folks who supposedly cherish freedom, they sure like to take it away from folks who don't act, think, and behave as they do.
It's too late for you Christie, go away.
This message can't be sitting well with the TEA party. They insist that the children be born and then want nothing more to do with them.
And then blame the adorable little ones for growing up disadvantaged and becoming a burden on society. Take for example the children crossing our borders. They certainly had the right to live, but by pro-life Americans standards, these children not only must remain living in the squalor they were born in, all prevention must be made not "infect" our pro-lifers with the disease of "being born in poverty".
It is always the children who become stigmatized by the very same pro-life adults who demand personhood for these little bundles of joy.
Reality is a two way street. Unfortunately for the children, one way was closed down to them by virtue OF their birth, forcing them into the reality of living; but not necessarily of benefit to them.
Republicans are pro-life before people are born, pro-guns and corporations after people are born, and pro-tax cuts at all times.
Raoul Duke...where do you get this stuff?
pro-life means housing, medical care, healthy food, a good education for ALL PERSONS in the USA. duh. republicans pro-life? cutting the social services safety net to shreds year after year...
"“You get someone off of drugs and back into a productive life, that not only helps society and our economy financially but it also makes us feel better about who we are,” Christie said."
The problem isn't releasing people so they can be productive again. The problem is that a majority of them want everything given to them in order to be productive or they just end up being criminals again. If it takes hard work and determination, they will not do it. The only way most criminals who have been released from jail will become productive is if you give them a 9-5 job making $50k a year right out of prison...and even then many of them would probably end up messing that up.
No, the problem isn't the lack of options out of prison...the problem is lack of wanting to work hard and actually try.
Who's running the country right now anyway? Last time I checked we had a Democratic majority in the Senate and a Democrat president. Still it's the GOP's fault. Holder's reducing sentences, huh? On what basis. Does he know these criminals. Perhaps he is sympathetic because he too is a criminal.
Let the RINO comments commence!
The far far far right GOP will sink him over this one.
Typical of the media. Taking words out of context to make a controversy. There isn't any republicans that disagree with Christie on this. He is just trying to use a talking point of democrats to his advantage.
liberals just want to use abortion as a means of birth control, at any stage of the development of the baby, even though there are many, many cheap (even free) forms of birth control readily available. many are just lazy or irresponsible and engage in unprotected sex resulting in pregnancy. that was their personal decision and they want to kill the baby because they now can't be bothered.
they claim a woman should have control of her body. yes, but when there are two bodies involved, the other body needs to be considered as well. neither should have a say over the life of the other. a woman should not simply be able to kill the baby for convenience.
Since Christie was a former prosecutor- position that is aimed at putting people in jail for as long as possible regardless of circumstances,
I am not buying his message.
I couldn't agree more. Sadly, the whole conservative GOP agenda has little to no focus on humans once they are born.
The GOP is so anti-life that they don't want anybody to have health insurance. Do they think we don't know the truth about their "pro life" campaign slogan?
THAT statement just made Christie....'untouchable'.....at the 2016 GOP convention.
Back of the bus to you Chris, while the rest of the wackos fight it out for the nomination.
I wonder how many conservative heads exploded when one of their own suggests we should be compassionate to the poor. I mean, what would Jesus do? Oh wait ...
Which most people are pro-life even once the people get out of the womb. The problem is that the Republicans keep on trying to cut social assistance programs and shame the poor who are usually working HARDER than people who make more than them.
The poor rightly get a little.... PO'd royally at that.
I guess that means that the GOP will be against the death penalty now... You can't be "pro-life" and still support the death penalty. That means you are just pro-birth. If they were really "pro-life," then they would be for funding all sorts of medical research and preventing diseases. This also goes for do what they can to prevent wars and reduce loss of life in violent conflicts. I don't see that happening right now.
I would never vote for a lawyer "Chris Christie " who once lobbied for Bernard Madoff . Nor , would I vote for a want to be cowboy " Rick Perry " , who lobbied for ENRON .
I'm sorry , enough crooked cronyism from the corporations are people too propaganda machine .
Stay out of my bedroom and leave my body alone! But you all have to pay for my birth control and abortion and healthcare. And oh yeah, my body needs a roof over it, food in it and a cell phone. But remember you all have no right to control me or my body so just stay away! But make sure I get all those other things.