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. David

    You can't lead people that refuse to be lead.

    March 5, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. LINDA 1222

    I'm one of the thousands of civilian government workers. I'm 67 and still have to work for a living to put food on the table, and keep a roof over my head along with my son's family. My dauther-in-laws breast cancer has come back,
    and she is battleing. But, my kid makes about as much as I do, and therefore NO financial aid for them. So, I am trying to help my family keep their house, along with mine.

    BUt, I'm just one in thousands of families affected by this horrible NON-WORKING CONGRESS.!


    Beleive me, I will cast my next vote very diffenetly.

    This Sequrstration will cost me about $7000 over the APRIL TO SEPTEMBER TIME FRAME.

    I want to tell Governor Christie, give'em HELL for us. We the people do not seem to have a voice any longer.

    This Republican Congress hasn't shown leadershp. They've even abdicated their responsibility. The
    Republican Congress has abandoned its stewardship of the Nation's assets.
    What happened to our Republican leaders??

    We used to be the party of leaders, those to count on for responsible stewardship of our nation. We've become a bunch ideological extremists, many lawyers who are skilled at arguing and advocating but can't get a damn thing done.

    I appeal to Governor Christie, please help us all.

    I'm out here in the State of WA., and can't get our resprestives to hear us. However, with the Governors
    position and straight-forward talk, the Governor has the ear of leaders that may hear us.

    Thank You

    March 5, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. Chris

    So this guy is "riled"? Don't think for a minute that the American TAXPAYERS are not "riled"! Yes, we are sick and tired of giving money to foreign aid, to welfare program cheaters, and to high salaried government employees with nice retirement programs. Focus on these 3 areas Mr. President and quit "riling" the TAXPAYERS.

    March 5, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ SkyKing169
    We're all Americans. We're all in this together. A real leader doesn't attack his teammates.
    Great post and good point SkyKIng169.
    The all out UN-AMERICAN treatment that this President has been subjected to is as unprecedented as the willfully constipated and obstructionist Congress that we've been made to suffer and have been subjected to for over FOUR years.
    All of this disingenuous hypocritical talk and criticism about "working together and compromising" is just that: hogwash.
    ANYBODY that has been paying even a fraction of attention to what these Rethugs have been doing knows that there is no interest on the part of the Teatards (who are in the minority but are calling the shots for Boehner because they hold the Party's PURSE STRINGS) to move better the lot of the middle-class in this country. Indeed they do not care about the country. They care about wrestling power away from the President and calling the shots, people's choice and legal national elections be damned.
    Cannot wait until 2014. Tired of being raped by the Teatards and the Drunkard of the House.

    March 5, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. Michael Hobart

    This is a failure of both parties. The sequestration bill was passed two years ago when the Republicans were blocking raising the debt ceiling (which resulted in a first-ever credit rating downgrade for the US). Part of the deal which resulted was to impose automatic spending cuts if a debt deal was not reached, with the spending cuts split evenly between domestic and defense programs. This was supposed to be so unpalatable that the parties would compromise to avoid it – which obviously did not happen.

    Remember that Speaker Boehner came away from that negotiation claiming he got "98% of what he wanted." He then got an overwhelming majority of House Republicans to vote for it.

    The leaders of both parties – Pelose, Reid, Boehner, and McConnell, ALL VOTED FOR THE COMPROMISE – no matter what they are claiming now that it is all the other side's fault.

    This is a failure by both parties in both chambers!

    March 5, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. The REAL Truth...

    I'm warming up to Christie – except for blaming the POTUS. The blame game continues unabated in DC, yet the red state sheeple lap it up from Faux Noise channel and other RW media sources.
    If you have been keeping up with politics over the last 10 yrs, you'll know that the Grand Obstructionist Party has done everything in it's power to spend us into economic oblivion and disaster, then blame it all on Obama. How convenient.

    Why is it that the GOP (and even Christie) ONLY has a problem with spend, spend, spend when it's NOT them doing it?

    March 5, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer


    Yes, there's now democracy in Egypt and Libya. Where dictators onced controll the political sphere and anoint themselves leaders for life, the people of Egypt and Libya are now enjoying free electiion where they can cast their votes and decide on a leader of their choice to help them determine their future and destiny. Does that mean all is well politically and socially in those countries??? Of course not Fareed Zakaria wrote a beautiful peace a years ago where he talked about how the road to democracy can be ugly and turmoultous. Hey, even our democrtacy is still bumpy after 300 years where during the last election for example, conservatives attempts to change the voter registration laws and suppress the right of the people to vote. But in time, democracy in those country will gain strenght and will be solidify.

    March 5, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. Paul

    Christie would find that when you are president that you can't just force your way. He talks tough, and some people like that, but the senate and house can stop anything, as we have found out. "You can lead a horse to water....." Obama keeps reaching out but the republicans are just saying "NO"

    March 5, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. Evelyn

    I agree with Governer Christie on this . Congress and the President have locked horns long enough at the expense of the American people.It is time they grow the hell up and solve these problems.They need to stop pandering to special interests and start working on programs to get America back to work.

    March 5, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer


    And do you know why President Obama's statute is being erected left of Lincoln??? Well, its because he's Number One.
    BAM!!!!! Down goes Frazier!!
    Time to jump into that river of yours Fair...lol!

    March 5, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. Stewart

    If Obama proposed programs today to give more tax breaks to the corporations and the rich, the false Republicans in Congress would get it done tomorrow. We need Teddy Roosevelt back in the White House. Christie and Jeb Bush are about the only Repubs making any sense, so therefore won't stand a chance of getting the nomination. (I can't believe I'm making a positive comment about another Bush in the White House, but he was a better Gov. in Florida than the clown we have now.

    March 5, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. Fair is Fair

    Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @ Fair

    Yes, a spot is indeed being prepared for President Obama on Mt Rushmore. For your information just google... "The Incomplete Greatness of Barack Obama." Then let me know what you think.
    You can't be serious. A fluff piece written by a far-left hack??? Seek help... soon.

    March 5, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. algims

    Since the Tea Party has got into Congress, nothing gets done. They are the party of NO which has frustrated even the other Republicans. Tea Party = No compromise. Thus nothing gets done. EVEN KARL ROVE HAS COME TO THE REALIZATION THAT THESE PEOPLE MUST GO!

    March 5, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Correction to my post:

    ANYBODY that has been paying even a fraction of attention to what these Rethugs have been doing knows that there is no interest on the part of the Teatards (who are in the minority but are calling the shots for Boehner because they hold the Party's PURSE STRINGS) to move the country forward nor better the lot of the middle-class in this country

    March 5, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. rufusvondufus

    Publius Novus

    It is true that the President can't lock McConnell and Boehner in a room for negotiations. But Harry Ried could convene the Senate and refuse to adjourn until a bill passed. And he should.

    Don't go holding your breath for that one. Reid does as Obama instructs. All Obama does is talks. After he is finished talking, he is finished. He knows not what it means to lead. He has no idea. He knows w/o a dem congress his plans are toast as they should be. All he knows is give our money to the lazy.

    March 5, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. CraigRB

    Just don't cut my social security. I already have to pay back $50 a month out of my meager check because my work salary was a whopping $3000 over social security's earnings limit. You know, I'm not supposed to get ahead or pay my bills on time.

    March 5, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Hey Christie, first you criticized the President's economic policies but when Sandy hit NJ, you had no problem accepting Sandy-relief from the President. Now, after riling about the ACA, you had no problem accepting millions of dollars in Medicaid expansion? Now you're at it again??? You Sir are a disgrace to NJ and the United States.

    Furthermore, as far as the sequester goes, if the GOPT were really against the sequester, then why did they all vote for it??? And if the Democrats were really for the sequester as you claimed, then why did all the Democrats vote against it??? A week ago, John Boehner said about the sequester that he had already gotten 98 percent of what he wanted while Republican Mike Pompeo of Kansas called the forced cuts "a home run," while Mitch McConnel said "its pretty clear to me that the sequester is going to go into effect. Read my lips: I'm not interested in an eleventh-hour negotiation." And of course, the GOPT is yet to introduce a single bill on the floor to addresss the cuts and they've failed to come on board with Democrats who have called for a balance approach to close loopholes and reduce our deficit in a sensible and fair way. Simply outrageous of the GOPT.

    March 5, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. John

    I hate the "lack of leadership" comment, without a specific suggestion that we could actually envision working. People love throwing that term around. "Just lock them in a room". Does anyone really see Boehner and McConnell giving in just because they're locked in a room? They'll all just stare at each other until it gets rediculous. "Obama should be more friendly to them" – like playing golf with them? Like he has? Doesn't work. It truly does take constituents of each rep to contact them and be heard. It will take time because people dont feel it yet. I don't think there's any other way except the current way. Whoever has a better suggestion that you truly think would work after thinking it through, please post it.

    March 5, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. ohio

    The republlicans have lost my vote in the next round of elections. This behavior is

    March 5, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. Bruce

    Sounds like big boy Chris is trying to make his way back to the GOP's graces.

    March 5, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  21. Lynda/Minnesota

    You know, I'm kinda liking this Mt. Rushmore thing for President Obama. Lets build two. As a tribute to his first and second terms.

    And lets add a placard on his second monument:

    "Our number one goal was to make Mr. Obama a one term president" ... signed GOPerville, USA.

    March 5, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. Darkseider

    Christie is just another RINO. Not to mention a hypocrite with the lambasting of the house to get the Sandy aid bill passed
    even though it was full of pork. Then to call himself a conservative saying he balanced NJs budget when all he did was change the way certain debt waculated and pencil whipped the books. NJ still has a deficit dont let him fool you.

    March 5, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  23. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    A week ago, John Boehner said about the sequester, the President has gotten what he wanted and he said his party is no longer going to make additional concessions to the President. Well, Boehner was referring to the end of year fiscal cliff deal where taxes were raised for the top earners. But seriouslly Mr. Boehner, the President has gotten what he wanted??? Sir, the last time I checked, the top earners got 8 straight years of Bush era tax breaks and an additional 4 years of tax breaks under President Obama as the Bush tax cuts were extended. And all this was happening while the middle class was picking up the tab and shoulding the burden of the GOP's manafactured economic crisis. You Sir Mr. Boehner must be suffering from a severe case of Romnesia.

    March 5, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. Gloria in NW

    Unfortunately, there has been so much gerrymandering in favor of Republicans in many states that it will be very hard to dislodge many of these willfully low-information Tea Party types. We are in for a long hard slog, and since we have gutted access to higher education over many years many of us may live to see the United States relegated to the status of a third world economy.

    March 5, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  25. Tom from Canonsburg

    Just for comment on all of the above comments. To my fellow Dems, don't stoop to the level of the conservatives posting here. Stop the name calling. I do like the comment calling the GOP the "Grand Obstructionist Party ". That is just stating a fact.

    Since Reagan removed the Fairness Doctrine, the GOP has been pounding the American public with anti-American propaganda. They believe of rule by the minority, instead of the Amercian principle of rule by the majority. Obama is correct in stating that if he locked Boehner & McConnell in an office until something actually happened that he would be called a dictator. My goodness many of the conservative base already think that. The GOP's attornies would be pressing all sorts of charges on all that were involved.

    To those conservatives reading this. If those stubborn leaders of your party would in-fact negotiate in good faith, we would not be in the state we are in. The majority of times that supposed compromise has occured, the leadership has renegued. The conservative propaganda ministers cheer when this occurs, as more damage is being done to our country. In spite of all the times that McConnell filabustered and all of the times that Boehner stalled Obama proposals in committee, we are at record highs in the economic indicators. Just imagine where we could be without the obstruction.

    March 5, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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