Christie: I was not criticizing Palin
January 16th, 2011
11:18 AM ET
12 years ago

Christie: I was not criticizing Palin

(CNN) - Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie insisted Sunday that he was not criticizing former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin when he told The New York Times that she "rightfully has been criticized" for consistently following a script.

"It wasn't a criticism of her. It was an observation," Christie said on "Fox News Sunday." "If you avoid those unscripted moments, I don't think the American people will trust their instincts about whether you would make a good president or not."

Christie said voters learn the most about how candidates will govern through the campaign process "when you're not being handled or told what to say but you have to react to situations like this."

The former 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee and potential 2012 candidate said she was the subject of a "blood libel" by those who suggested her comments and actions contributed to the shooting of Democratic Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Filed under: Chris Christie • Sarah Palin
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. RtB

    The Alaskan Air Head is a disgrace to any sensible American citizen.
    It appears that Christie is fiddling around with the truth.
    When The Alaskan Air Head's vacuous persona fades from the headlines the better off this country will be.

    January 16, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. Old Man River

    Some advice to anyone who wants their opinion be honestly considered: Stop using words like "libtard" and "repugnantcan". As soon as you show your immature spewings, nobody takes what you say as honest opinion, but as the rantings of a spoiled child who can't think of anything viable to say. Grow up!

    January 16, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. Rationalist

    Every time someone calls this woman out, it seems like two two days later they always issue a "clarification" that is really an "I didn't mean it." Why bother? The woman is unelectable and most people know that. The senior GOP people should be finding a way to get rid her, she cost them the Senate in the midterms and she will cost them a chance at the White House in 2012 if she keeps it up. America may be frustrated with Washington politics, but they aren't crazy or stupid enough to elect someone like Palin or her other wingnuts like O'Donnell.

    January 16, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. ficheye


    All one needs to do is read the comments here to understand that America is doomed. I also agree with Old Man River, above...

    January 16, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Kevin

    And welcome to GOP primary season 2012. Christie's just testing the waters right now.

    January 16, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. nolan

    Now the partisan conformist can't retreat quickly enough. Obviously he does not have the courage to stand behind what he says, and criticize what needs criticizing.

    January 16, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. deanp

    To Old Man River: ub so RIGHT! When I see non-thinking name-calling in a post, I don't even bother. Sadly, what I think such posts indicate (because there are so many) is that most people have no patience or capacity to think past their surface reactions. & I think who we often elect for our officials is indicative of that...too bad for us all.

    January 16, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. Tony

    Geez, and now Christie is afraid of Plain?

    What is she, the head blackmailer in-charge? Somebody says something about her then they immediately start backpedaling.

    There is no there, there. Unless she is blackmailing these people there is no reason for them to take back or soften their words all the time.

    She is not qualified to be the mayor of Petticoat Junction, so why is everyone scared of her?

    January 16, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  9. Tad Pole

    Christie never liked, nor respected, Palin. He is simply trying to force her to interact more with the media, in irder to eliminate her quickly from the potential candidates that he has to face.

    January 16, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  10. Nadeem

    Flip and Flop

    January 16, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  11. Pretzel Logic

    That's some pretty courageous back pedaling there Christie. Mustn't offend the prom queen.

    January 16, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. mike

    "It wasn't a criticism of her. It was an observation." WOW. This is how dumb people in office think that you are. (You can't criticize without observing.)

    January 16, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. Shane Botwin

    As long as Republicans defend Sarah Palin, I'll vote for anyone except them.

    January 16, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  14. xtl

    Palin "rightfully has been criticized" but "It wasn't a criticism of her. It was an observation," Christie said. Well, the "rightfully" part was not just an observation but indicated agreement. If you agree that someone should be criticized isn't that also being critical of that person? How does that work? These wacky Repulicans–“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”

    January 16, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. G-nO-P

    Even Christi, who's now known as a straight shooter, has to do the Kabookie Dance when talking about Palin.. it's like she's some VoodDoo Godess, capable of wicked spells...

    January 16, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. Ancient Texan

    While I admire Governor Christie for his principles and intestinal fortitude, I think he's wrong here. Sarah Palin has every right to defend herself against the radical left media and politicians that attack her 24/7/365.

    January 16, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. Alaskan Sourdough

    Every event she ever attends is pre scripted with Q&As already coregraphed. She get's into real trouble when someone asks something like" What does she read?" You know one of those trick questions...Or another trick question" Do you believe in the Bush Doctrine?" She's really not too smart but smart enough toavoid those trick questions now.

    January 16, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  18. Scott

    So he's not criticizing her, he's just saying she's too stupid to be President?

    January 16, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  19. Rick McDaniel

    No one knows whether anyone will be a good President or not. We know next to nothing about how candidates really feel about anything. All we ever see, is media orchestrated commentary, 95% of which, is pure BS, and we all KNOW it is BS, from the git-go.

    No one REALLY wants us to know anything real about any candidate for office......and they actually do everything they can to only expose us to what they WANT us to think, and none of that necessarily has any relationship to reality. It is pure salesmanship, and nothing else.

    The entire political process is a complete and total sham. Or, put in another way, a complete and total con game.

    January 16, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  20. Lariatsam

    OMIF (Open mouth, insert foot) Sometimes added explanation of previous quote need not go further.

    January 16, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. M. Hulot

    "What trick, what device, what starting-hole, canst
    thou now find out to hide thee from this open and
    apparent shame?"
    From Henry IV (II, IV, 251-253)

    January 16, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  22. Dazzy

    I don't see this as backing off. His original comment was to the effect that people have criticized her for never going off script, and that he believed that there was legitimate grounds for that criticism. That is not criticism, it is exactly what he said it was, and observation about the criticism she has received. After standing his ground with the NJEA, which no politician in the 30+ years I've lived in Jersey has had the stones to do, Christie has certainly earned the benefit of any doubt in this situation. I have voted for Dems more often than not in the past, but this man will have my support for whatever office he decides to run for because I will never have to listen to what he says and then try to figure out what he really means like I do with every other politician.

    January 16, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  23. Tam

    Folks, I just watched part of Palin's "blood libel" speech (on Reliable Sources). Unless she memorized the whole thing (which, since they weren't even her words, she is incapable of) - SHE IS READING OFF A TELEPROMPTER! Unless someone near the camera is holding up large pieces of paper with the speech - she is reading off something! Not that there's anything wrong with that, but.....

    January 16, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  24. A female in Wyoming

    Palin would make a horrible president and everyone knows it. She is the most unqualified person I can think of in recent history who has even toyed with the idea. The republcian side is just afraid to admit it because she is their scapegoat and they are using her for own advantage and will then kick her to the curb when the time is right. Most of America has already kicked her to the curb where she rightfully belongs.

    January 16, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  25. billy

    I am a life long GOP member and the Governor has it right on. The party elders will NEVER support Palin on the GOP ticket in 2012. If that were to happen I would vote for the other party for the very FIRST time!!

    January 16, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
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