July 1st, 2014
10:15 AM ET
6 years ago

Christie gives no opinion on Hobby Lobby case

(CNN) - In a departure from other Republicans, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did not give an opinion Tuesday on the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling, arguing there was no point in making a comment about the decision.

"The fact is that when you're an executive, your Supreme Court makes a ruling and you've got to live with it unless you can get the legislative body to change the law or change the Constitution," the potential presidential candidate said on CNBC's "Squawk Box."

"The point is: Why should I give an opinion as to whether they were right or wrong? At the end of the day, they did what they did," he continued. "That's now the law of the land, unless people in the legislative branch try to change it."

In a 5-4 decision announced Monday, the Supreme Court's conservatives essentially ruled that some for-profit corporations, like Hobby Lobby, have religious rights and cannot be required to pay to cover some types of contraceptives for their employees.

The ruling was considered a big setback to the Affordable Care Act and the Obama administration. Republicans, including some potential presidential candidates, widely praised the decision, while Democrats were quick to blast it.

Christie argued it's best for political leaders not to get bogged down on social issues, including the Hobby Lobby case.

"I don't think that's the most central issue that we need to talk about this morning when you look at the challenges that face this country," he said. "If I allow people to put me in the box, then shame on me. I'm not a good politician. I'm not a good leader."

Christie, who personally opposes abortions and frequently points out that he's the first "pro-life" governor of New Jersey, said Republicans should be careful about getting caught up in social debates.

"The Republican candidate should tell people what they feel on issue that people ask you about. If you get asked a question. Answer it. That's all," he said.

In the interview Tuesday, Christie also weighed in on the 2016 presidential race, saying he's "not running for anything at the moment" and reiterated that he hasn't made a decision yet about whether he'll throw his hat in the ring.

Asked if he'll be able to overcome the George Washington Bridge scandal that roiled his administration, Christie argued that people in other states don't express concern about the controversy when he travels as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

"I think what the people across this country–and I've been in 19 states now over the past four or five months or so–and what people talk to me about is not that stuff," he said.

Christie has long maintained that he had no knowledge or involvement in the plot, in which two of his political appointees have been accused of creating a massive traffic jam in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

The act has been subject to investigations by the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey, a state legislative committee, and an independent law firm hired by Christie's administration.

The governor added that there hasn't been "one new fact" that indicates he's not telling the truth.

CNN's Bill Mears contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2016 • Chris Christie • New Jersey • Supreme Court
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    The current SCOTUS has begun a clear track record of legislating from the bench. Money is now a form of speech. For-profit corporations are not only people [which is a decades old decision], but that for-profit corporations can not only have a religion, but that they actually have a right to administer and enforce those beliefs on their employees. For-profit corporations can now use religion as an excuse to get out of conforming just about any law on the books.

    As this new species of beings, for-profit corporations, gain more and more rights, how long will it be before they start demanding for their right to vote? I can hear the talking point already. "Taxation without representation." It's gonna happen, folks. It's only just a matter of time. We already have had one conservative billionaire joking about people should have to pay for the right to vote, and how many votes money should be able to purchase.

    July 1, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  2. PaulCat

    Christie has no opinion !!!!!
    Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

    July 1, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  3. just saying

    The governor added that there hasn't been "one new fact" that indicates he's not telling the truth.
    -–

    exactly!! but that sure won't stop the far left democrat party from spending tens of millions of taxpayer money to try and spread lies and smear him with innuendo. remember, all of this started happening right as he was beating hillary clinton in some polls. the far left smear machine and their lackeys in the press swung into action to take him down.

    July 1, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  4. naksuthin

    Why should I give an opinion as to whether they were right or wrong? At the end of the day, they did what they did," he continued. "That's now the law of the land, unless people in the legislative branch try to change it." Christie.

    Well I think what people want to know is what would Christie do if he were president.
    Would he go along with the law....OR ...try to change it?
    Christie refused to say.

    It's inconceivable that a presidential candidate would refuse to take a position on an issue that has divided the country.
    If Christie just trying to be "all things to all men?" he's going to end up being a wishy washy president who just says what we all want to hear.

    Does he NOT have an opinion...at least???

    If he is just going to defer everything to the Supreme Court...what kind of leader is that.

    I know where Obama stands on this issue. I don't have to guess. Obama isn't afraid to say what he thinks.

    July 1, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  5. naksuthin

    Christie: I have no opinion
    VOTE FOR ME!!!

    July 1, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  6. smith1

    Christie has no opinion on anything right now. Where is that big mouth of his ????

    July 1, 2014 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. Dr. Brown

    New jersey got screwed with this guy, he's parading around in campaign mode for a year now, several scandals, REAL ones, ones with direct evidence. He lied to investors, must of learned a thing or two from Bernie Madoff, just what we need.

    July 1, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The point is: Why should I give an opinion as to whether they were right or wrong? At the end of the day, they did what they did,"
    -----------------------------------------------------
    I'm going with Krispy on this one.
    Let's just keep it moving.

    July 1, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. mister obvious

    The one thing Bernie taught him, when it comes to defrauding the public, go big! The latest is about 1.8 billion, yup, he learned well, and by lying to investors no less, priceless!

    July 1, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. drake mallard

    Corporations are People too my friend but They Have More Rights than You

    “pro-life” is more about controlling female sexuality than it is about godly behavior

    shouldn’t Hobby Lobby also be attempting to restrict its coverage of Viagra to married men only?) it’s perfectly okay for men to use drugs that allow them to have sex,
    but perfectly not okay for women to use drugs that allow them to remain
    unimpregnanted.

    July 1, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. sonny chapman

    Mitt was right: Corporations ARE people. Though they were never Born in America, as required by 14the Amendment, Corporations(Legal Fiction) ARE entitled to Constitutional Protection of their Free Speech(Citizens United) & Religious Freedom (Hobby Lobby) Rights.
    Corporations have never died or been blown up in War, never suffered from lacking Health Care, never struggled to educate their children, never ached to put gas in the car. Yep, they're PEOPLE all right !

    July 1, 2014 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. Lizzie

    Dr.Brown, sounds like President Obama

    July 1, 2014 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. S.B. Stein

    He said that to cover his large butt and to avoid questions as to why he isn't paying anything into the pension despite signing a contract and giving his word. He has become totally untrustworthy and shows how much of an ideologue he is.

    July 1, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  14. sonny chapman

    Corporation: an artificial person or legal entity created by law-Black's Law Dictionary

    July 1, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. Randy, San Francisco

    Gov Christie cannot have it both ways. He panders to a conservative organization on one day and then straddles the fence on another day. He is doing a poor imitation of the Romney flip flop.

    July 1, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  16. smith

    This whole thing is getting blown way out of context. HL and other small businesses still have cover 16 out 20 forms of birth control. The morning after pill and three others are the ones that are now exempt and the goverment will most likely cover those.

    July 1, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  17. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    just saying says:
    July 1, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am
    The governor added that there hasn’t been “one new fact” that indicates he’s not telling the truth.
    —–

    exactly!! but that sure won’t stop the far left democrat party from spending tens of millions of taxpayer money to try and spread lies and smear him with innuendo. remember, all of this started happening right as he was beating hillary clinton in some polls. the far left smear machine and their lackeys in the press swung into action to take him down.

    BENGHAZI!!

    July 1, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. Ol' Yeller

    "Christie gives no opinion on Hobby Lobby case"

    "The Republican candidate should tell people what they feel on issue that people ask you about. If you get asked a question. Answer it. That's all," he said."

    "Christie, who personally opposes abortions and frequently points out that he's the first "pro-life" governor of New Jersey, said Republicans should be careful about getting caught"

    Ahhhh.... Christie, the elusive doublespeak of a man on the brink of a Federal indictment still grasping at the chance to be President which he lost when his being a greedy vindictive tool for all these years finally caught up with him.
    Too bad, really... he was the least scary in the rwnj's clown car of candidates.

    July 1, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    just saying

    The governor added that there hasn't been "one new fact" that indicates he's not telling the truth.
    -–

    exactly!! but that sure won't stop the far left democrat party .....
    --------------------------------------
    He's lying. There have already been a couple of high level Christie aides that have given testimony suggesting that contradict Christie's claim that he was ignorant.

    July 1, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. Luc

    there goes Christie playing it safe so that he does not piss off the GOP> he will need support from them if he runs so better be quiet.

    July 1, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. Eurasian

    No need to laugh in their face. I am happy to do that.

    July 1, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. 101 Wild Turkey

    He knows that there is no "right "answer. The Supreme Court has rendered a decision, Unless the legislative branch of the government wants to change the law, there is nothing the executive branch can do about it. Moreover, the executive branch is required to enforce the law....unless you are the Obama Administration who just makes it up as they go along.

    July 1, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  23. Al-NY,NY

    arguing there was no point in making a comment about the decision.
    --–

    thanks CC. if you have any aspirations about the white house you'd better come up with an opinion. the free-thinkers will want you to denounce it while the religious fanatics will hate you for not supporting it........so........tick tock tick tock tick tock...

    July 1, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  24. Tony D

    Christie hasn't announced he is running for President yet so why bother answering a stupid question? Like the lefty clowns love to say in here, it is law! Make that settled law, based on the Constitution, thanks to the USSC, the very same court that made the mistake of inflicting Obamacare on this country along with all these violations of our Constitutional rights. And back then you applauded these very same people as wise.

    And the idiots in here wondering what he would do? What do you expect him to do? Say he will get the Constitution changed to remove the protection of freedom of religion? Honestly, your stupidity knows no bounds.

    July 1, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Christie argued it's best for political leaders not to get bogged down on social issues, including the Hobby Lobby case."

    Except that those that support the Hobby Lobby case are rather obsessed with controlling the little lady and keeping her in her place.

    Bogged down? Christie, honey, you've got no clue to the lengths GOPerville which will go to get what they want. And to such time as you do, you're blowing in the wind one day at a time.

    July 1, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
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