Spending cuts rile Christie, who blasts lack of 'leadership'
March 4th, 2013
09:21 PM ET
9 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. roger

    I disagree with Obama. You can put the people in a room and say that until this problem gets resolved we live in this room. I'm sure Obama would be amazed at how quick people would learn to "compromise". He just doesn't have the guts to do it.

    March 5, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  2. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    A message to the envy jealous bigoted racist right wing trolls:

    President Obama is the Grestest President in U.S. history and there's nothing you right wing trolls can do about it. You can learn to live with it or go drink Kool-Aid.

    March 5, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  3. VMG

    It's up to the American people to stop this impass in Congress with the next midterm election. There was a time when a divided Congress was a good thing and kept the party that was in power from pushing through too many onesided bills, but this has now reached the point where our government is impotent. If we need a single party to get this country's government in motion then lets elect a Democratic House. If that doesn't work, kick them out with the following election. eventually our Representativesand Senators will get the message.

    March 5, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  4. evan

    Christie is caught in the middle of nowhere man-ville. The extreme right has and will reject him. The left rejects him. He's in that thin slice of what used to be the mainstream moderate Republican party. Not enough these days. If he had any sense, he'd start working with moderates, Independents and even the moderate left and form a 3rd party...or even run as a moderate Democrat. There's no future for him in any higher office running as a Republican.

    March 5, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Brian

    ROFL he is right it is a lack of leadership. A lack of leadership on Boehner's part to get his caucus to pass anything remotely close to a compromise.

    March 5, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  6. dwight

    Blah blah...name calling instead of facing the fact that Obama fought against the Middle East war and yet still hasn't got us out of it yet and has actually done more in that he is now killing targets with drones at will with no oversight. He is Bush x 2. Love is blind.

    March 5, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  7. dwight

    Hey I envy the rich, but here is what will happen. You tax the rich more and they already pay a hefty sum and you will cause them to leave to another place that is not a state where they are exempt from the rules. Wait they already have it is called Washington DC.

    March 5, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  8. Jeff

    Obama is doing the only thing possible right now. He is gathering a coalition of moderates to circumvent the Teatards in Congress as well as the Progressive caucus. He is giving Boehner and McConnell the finger and starting a plan on entitlement reform and tax loophole reform with the likes of Coburn, Collins, etc. The GOP leadership is set on keeping their leadership so they cower to the Teatards, making it impossible for the POTUS to negotiate. Does anyone really want to see the right win this? Have Social Security and Medicare gutted to nothing to balance the budget? Puhleeze.

    March 5, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Christie strikes me as a lot of things: a convenient chameleon, a boisterous, pompous bully, even on the rare occasion a reasonable facsimile of a statesman. The one thing he doesn't strike me as is willfully stupid or disingenious which is exactly the way he's coming across in this story.
    Come on Christie, even people who get their news from FOX know that for as long as Obama is President the GOP has no intention of moving the country forward via reasonable compromise.
    Republicans have been on a paid vacation since President Obama took office. They don't work and when they do it is only to work against any progress that is being made.
    @ Lynda Minnesota:
    "At one point it was rather humorous. Now, it's just old. Too old"
    Loved your post my friend. You voiced my sentiments. This used to be entertaining, we even learned something once in a while. It has devolved into a rabid irrational hate-fest, loaded with misinformation on both sides of the thread.

    March 5, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  10. enuff

    It's impossible for anyone to negotiate when they are all continually leaving town. CNN loves to talk about Obama playing golf. Why aren't they doing an expose of where congress goes EVERY time THEY take a break. Which, of course, is every month. But then again, CNN is just a mini-Fox News anymore. I know, let's do another story on Romney and how he still loves Wendy's.

    March 5, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Well, of course, Gov. Christie would be upset over the spending cuts. New Jersey was hurting financially even before Hurricane Sandy came along. The state's unemployment rate ranks among the highest in the nation, and ditto for their annual budget shortfall.

    Does anyone remember the paperwork fiasco by his education team applying for federal education funds during his first year? New Jersey had lost out on close to $500 million federal dollars because his hand picked team was totally incompetent.

    Does anyone remember how he killed hundreds of jobs, and set back East Coast economic growth for decades, by cancelling the *final* NJ portion of a multi-state high speed rail system? That move cost state taxpayers close to another $500 million as the federal government demanded reimbursement for money spent on work that was already completed: railways, stations, rail bridges, everything except for the final rail tunnel under the Hudson River.

    March 5, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  12. Tom

    Okay, governor, lead. Let's dispense with the idea that politicians have to be elected to their next political office before they can demonstrate the skills they claim to possess. Lead your party to a reasonable solution. You appear to have a more cordial relationship with President Obama than any of your Republican colleagues in Congress, so lead the President to a compromise. Lead the Democrats in Congress. Fix this mess through leadership and I'll vote for you for President in 2016. Otherwise you're just another politician complaining the problem is everyone else.

    March 5, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  13. Sniffit

    Well, of course....Jeb Bush just pulled a complete 180 on the idea of a pathway to citizenship in order to shore up his conservative street cred for the primaries. You think Christie isn't going to be doing the same thing..particulalry when he see potential opponents doing it? Think again.

    March 5, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    ROFL he is right it is a lack of leadership. A lack of leadership on Boehner's part to get his caucus to pass anything remotely close to a compromise.
    Amen to that!
    Praise the Lord and pass the peas.

    March 5, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  15. Ancient Texan

    Blah,blah, Pssst. 51% is NOT a landslide.

    March 5, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  16. critical thinking

    Christie, come on, there was no leadership from this President in the first 4 years but you greeted him with open arms when you need our federal tax dollars to help your state.

    March 5, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  17. askdavey

    not getting a deal done was just another nail in the gop coffin, soon the gun lovers and the people that cannot obey laws will have thier party and we will start building more jails, and the gop will say we could have talked some more and gave up tax loop holes ffor oil companys.....4.00 a gallon and the gop protects thier tax breaks, what do you think the middle class is thinking about the gop right now ?

    March 5, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. Jack Manning

    Why hasn't Chris Cristie locked the Republicans in a room and forcde them to yield, $1 of tax revenue from the rich for $1 in spending cuts?

    Chris Cristie's lack of leadership.

    March 5, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    -Ancient Texan

    Blah,blah, Pssst. 51% is NOT a landslide
    53% rejected the Mormon Aristocrat.

    March 5, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  20. John

    The Republicans will not cooperate with ANYTHING and then they cry about leadership. This is all they have on the President. Obstruct, block and then blame him because he is not making you cooperate? The only :eadership we are needing is the 2014 elections to vote this party of no out of office. The only thing stopping America is the GOP minority party. Locking them in a room will not force them to do anything.

    March 5, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. Subramanian Venkatraman

    If the GOP Senators say that they will not allow the President to leave the conference room unless and until he accepts all their demands, then what? How can we even think of this kind of weird solutions to the problem? We are making ourselves a laughing stock by such comments and show our immaturity.

    March 5, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. beezers

    Christie is a Democrat stooge. He's upset that Obama can't do what he wants to do and increase spending? I support cutting the budget... by a lot more than this miniscule amount! We need to make more cuts and get to a balanced budget. STOP SPENDING MONEY YOU DON"T HAVE REJECTS!

    March 5, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  23. Fair is Fair

    Why won't you post this, CNN????

    FY 2002 Bush $421 Billion
    FY 2003 Bush $555 Billion
    FY 2004 Bush $596 Billion
    FY 2005 Bush $554 Billion
    FY 2006 Bush $574 Billion
    FY 2007 Bush $501 Billion
    FY 2008 Bush $1017 Billion
    FY 2009 Bush $1885 Billion (1-time TARP of $880 Billion, repaid)
    FY 2010 Obama $1652 Billion
    FY 2011 Obama $1229 Billion
    FY 2012 Obama $1225 Billion
    FY 2013 Obama $942 Billion (est.)

    Bush – 8 years, $6103 Billion, $5223 Billion with TARP repayment
    Obama – 4 years, $5048 Billion

    Obama, in 4 years, has added just as much to the debt as Bush did in 8.

    Source – Adelphi University

    March 5, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. Floyd from Illinois

    Congress should be feeling pretty isolated right about now. Outside DC, even the staunchest of partisans are losing patience with the insiders, of BOTH parties, but especially within the GOP.

    Somebody suggested that a third, centrist party would be viable – take the 2/3rds of the GOP that are not Teabag hotspurs, the half of Dems that were Reagan Democrats, and you've got an overwhelming majority.

    March 5, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Ancient Texan

    Blah,blah, Pssst. 51% is NOT a landslide.
    Not according to the electoral college. Obama beat Romney by nearly two to one. BTW, 47% was definitely a loser.

    March 5, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
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