Spending cuts rile Christie, who blasts lack of 'leadership'
March 4th, 2013
09:21 PM ET
10 years ago

Spending cuts rile Christie, who blasts lack of 'leadership'

(CNN) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wasn't kidding when he said last year that "when the president does things that deserve scorn, I'll give him scorn."

Those comments were made after the Republican governor received some blowback from members of his party for praising the president following Superstorm Sandy. He defended himself by saying "When the president does things that deserve praise, I will give him praise," adding he would also freely criticize Obama if he disagreed with his actions.

On Monday, that criticism came during a press conference, when Christie described a lack of "real leadership" in Washington as massive forced spending cuts take effect.

"Real leadership would get this fixed," Christie said during the event. "You get everybody in the room and you fix it, and you don't let them leave until you fix it."

Obama himself was asked last Friday why he couldn't do just that, responding to a question from CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin by saying he can't "force Congress to do the right thing."

"I am not a dictator, I'm the president," he said while speaking to reporters in the White House Press Briefing Room. "Ultimately, if Mitch McConnell or John Boehner say we need to go to catch a plane, I can't have Secret Service block the doorway."

Christie seemed incredulous Monday that something more couldn't be done to avert the massive spending cuts, which took affect Friday. And he appeared perplexed that a deal hasn't yet been struck to shift the spending cuts to other areas of the federal budget.

"I don't understand it. I don't understand why they haven't fixed it already. It seems to me that it should be pretty easy to fix," Christie said, adding later that he thought Congress needed to address spending on entitlements like Medicare and Social Security.

"The worst thing about sequester in my view is that they're not spending any time talking about entitlement spending, which is where we need to focus on over the long haul to make a big difference in terms of our long term fiscal health as a country."

Filed under: Budget • Chris Christie
soundoff (248 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "Christie and Jeb Bush are about the only Repubs making any sense"

    How is Christie making sense by levelin fluffy accusations about a lack of leadership at DC but then NEVER SAYING WHAT HE WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY? How is that "making sense" and not just meaningless talking point vomit playing to peoples' frustrations?

    How is Jeb Bush maing any sense by coming out recently witha complete 180-degree flip-flop on whether he supports a pathway to citizenship (he now suddenly doesn't...conveniently right as his new book is coming out and he needs to start to maneuver for the 2016 nomination)? How si that "making sense" and not just blatant pandering?

    March 5, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. HarbajanSingh

    Really Chris Christie? I thought you Republicans don't need government money.

    March 5, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. Sorensen

    If people refuse to be lead, then you fire them all and close down the entire operation. And then open up again with
    new, intelligent people. Trouble is, that is impossible for the GOP. They don't have anybody with sufficient intelligence,
    status, credibility, style, etc. to even begin to do that. They will just continue the obvious self-destruction.
    Christie might be their last hope.

    March 5, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. Elliott

    There has never been so many filibusters in any Congress to this point. The Speaker of the House dismisses Congress last Friday to have an extended weekend with so much to do. Yeah, Congress is really working for us and it's all Obama's fault. If you don't like the President, fine. But let's be honest. Republicans wanted him to be a one term President and they failed. Now, they are going to do what ever they can to ruin his last term as well.

    March 5, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. sally

    Oh yeah, Christie, the good ole Republican, let's take it from the the old and infirm...that's real caring and positive change which will insure our status as a country where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer! Now we see your true colors...it's wonderful for the government to help New Jersey when it's hit by a hurricane but it's not okay to keep Medicare and Social Security as they are...which, by the way, is hardly enough to actually keep food on the table.

    March 5, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC


    "Christie and Jeb Bush are about the only Repubs making any sense"

    How is Christie making sense by levelin fluffy accusations about a lack of leadership at DC but then NEVER SAYING WHAT HE WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY?
    Christie said that he sit them, leaders from both sides, in a room and confine them there until they reached a solution. In short, he would be the dictator that Pres. Obama said he was not.

    March 5, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. Paul

    Obama's lack of leadership and his incompetence is becoming a bigger and bigger problem every day.
    The #1 concern of this White House and administration is "perception". That tells you they don't care about the truth, they
    know they can spin anything and the liberal media will back them up.

    March 5, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  8. rickp530

    We cannot afford another Bush in the White House. I might would vote for Christie if he ran in 2016.

    March 5, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. MightyMoo

    The inability of Congress to do it's job and create a budget that either the president will sign or they can override his Veto on is the real problem. Obama can't wave a magic wand and make the Senate act, they'll only act if they agree with him even if it's controlled by his own party and the Republicans don't decide to filabuster that day for some unknown reason.

    March 5, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. Pete

    Christie knows hes just hot air and fluff and after his corruption,bribery investigation by the new democratic AG of NJ is complete he may permanently be out of politics and be in regulated stripes like prison wear...And what he did for NJ after Sandy was his job so quit making him something that's he's not,a savior of the republican party if there's one after midterms!!

    March 5, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain: We don't have a spending problem: We have a Republican problem.

    @Sniffit: "How is that "making sense" and not just blatant pandering?"

    The bar is so low for Repubs these days that anyone who isn't foaming at the mouth is considered to be "making sense."

    March 5, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain: We don't have a spending problem: We have a Republican problem.

    @Gabbo: "Obama is a stiff – a community organizer, waaayyy over his head. Can you say "underqualified" ?

    No, President Obama is just having a hard time accepting that Republicans have no qualms harming our country and ignoring the will of the people – who elected President Obama TWICE and in 2012 got more votes in the House and Senate than Repubs (the House was only retained by the GOP because of districting).

    The folks who are "way over their heads" and "underqualfied" are the Repubs who think they will be around in 2014.

    March 5, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain: We don't have a spending problem; we have a Republican problem.

    @MightMoo: You are perfectly correct. The President can propose a budget, but it is Congress' JOB to actually write one.

    And if the GOP were serious about addressing our nation's problems, they'd get off their collective fannies and stop filibustering everything that goes to the Senate – including two previous budgets.

    March 5, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  14. Romney is Still NOT My Hero

    Christie Creme is trying to work his way up to a 2016 campaign. I knew it would happen! He knows that kissing up to our President won't win him any friends on the right. Maybe this will get him a few nods?....

    March 5, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  15. WachetAuf

    Christie's authoritarian instincts are evident. We are still a democracy. The President is not a dictator. He cannot dictate what the GOP must do. The GOP cannot dictate what the President must do. If the deadlock cannot be broken now, there is another election in 2014. Let's see what happens then. Have patience Governor. The end is not near. We are not Greece. We are a very strong nation.

    March 5, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    Just more hot air froma bloviating political Hindenburg waiting to happen.

    March 5, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. Scott

    I didn't see Christie mentioning Boehner in there anywhere!! Seriously, the House/Senate, Repubs/Dems, are to blame for this crisis because they're too busy paying homage to the money people who fund their campaigns, rather than actually doing the job they were elected to do which is serve "We the People of the United States of America".

    Personally, I think the House/Senate should not receive paychecks, should actually have to pay for their health care, and all the other free perks they get for sitting on their butts and not doing anything, until they, along with the President, solve the financial crisis and quit spending money like it's going out of style. And, for that matter, we should quit giving money to foreign countries!!!

    March 5, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Liberals and democrats refuse to ever admit fault in this president. Christie explains how he would do it and this is using the methods he currently uses in NJ with the democrats.

    March 5, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    It must really be upsetting for Christie that CPAC snubbed him and embraced Mitt Romney instead: I guess the full strength denial kool-aide being handed out (along with the blinkers the Right insists on wearing) helps them to believe that the Mormon aristocrat is preferable to the man who blurted out the truth about the House vote on Sandy. I would be upset as well if the man who had won the nomination after his own party brutally exposed his flaws, and then blew it in a campaign notable for blunders, a lack of discipline, and a stream of petulant, arrogant comments was preferred over someone who chose to deal with reality. Christie knows he has no chance of being president for trying to deal with problems, as opposed to creating them. So he is doing what comes easy to the GOP: whine and carp without doing anything substantive.

    March 5, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    How come no one has blamed the Sequester Cuts on the failed Super Committee. They were to have at least re-appropriated the cuts to make them far less careless and capricious.

    March 5, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  21. localyokel

    This administration has failed to pass a budget EVER. We relected these fools and expect them to get something responsible done when they haven't so far? WTH is wrong with us America?

    March 5, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  22. Shaker9

    Christie just realized that the GOP decided to hang him out to dry, so he has to say something to get back in their good graces. There does not need to be any substance to his rhetoric, just enough bluster to make him appear to be a good Republican again. All of those people who just decided to go home on Friday, led by John Boehner, need to be voted out of office for good. If they had not voted to protect their own salaries, I would say slash them first along with all their special privileges. Then you would see some action.

    March 5, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. Independent

    @Donna....1000% agreed, the funniest thing is watching and reading all these brainwashed losers praise him for all that he has NOT done!!!! I have never seen so many brainwashed people in my life!!!!!

    March 5, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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