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. excuse my rant

    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.
    ____________________________________

    I have to admit that I would be willing to accept that corporations are people.......as soon as Texas executes one.

    July 1, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    -if I were to appoint, I do appoint Joe Biden to SC, now.

    July 1, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    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.
    ------------------------–
    It was the plaintiffs who blew it "way out of control" by going to court in the first place. They used to pay for it prior to the passing of the ACA without a complaint. Maybe the health care law made them aware of something they didn't know, but it does not change the fact that they have covered for it for years, and have no objection to other forms of birth control.

    This court decision was not about abortion. It was all about laying down the "legal" framework as part of a long term strategy with goal of granting corporations citizenship.

    July 1, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  4. Dr. Brown

    Lizzie, I said real scandals, you know he's toast, too bad for you, your gop only chance, poof! The last of his worries are the bridge lanes closing, come on, lets be real here, we all knew as soon as his dealings were s scrutinized, he was in deep doo doo. Same as rick Scott, Scott walker, rick Snyder, corrupt to the core, how do you think they rose to the top of their party, reality sucks when it comes to the gop!

    July 1, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. Dna

    And NOW for the big question. How many of you left wing, blame Christie "how can he not have an opinion", even watched the interview this morning? I did, the whole thing and the follow up questions; didn't he say he is PRO LIFE! yes he did. I think that should tell you wear he stands,His best statement was not that he is pro life from conception to birth is that he is pro life from conception to death. CNN once again putting on a spin to fit their interest, Oh all you 420 smokers guess what he does not want that legal either.

    July 1, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  6. Dr. Brown

    Smith, in one year, you won't need to ask that, it will be obvious, at least we know what the gop, and their lobbyist donors will be busy doing, your a good guy, but sadly, you greatly underestimate their true intent, and the lenghts they will go to get it. We all agree education is the key, now take an honest look at what the gop is doing in that arena, its scary if you ask me, the school choice BS, and rick snyders claim of adding to education is a ruse, its nothing more than subsidising the private schools for the rich, at public k-12 expense, read the proposal, its the true gop, sad, frustrating, but true non the less.

    July 1, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. just saying

    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.
    --

    well thank you for that unsubstantiated opinion without any basis in fact. 'suggesting'??!! democrats 'suggest' lies all the time. that is not proof and certainly not fact. the only fact right now is that there is no proof of the wild conspiracy theories of the democrats. but spend another 20-30 million more dollars and I am sure you will come up with.... nothing, no proof. just more smear headlines compliments of the lefty press.

    July 1, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  8. Dr. Brown

    Dna, not surprised you completely side stepped the real question want to know his opinion on the religious rights of corporations, I would say nice try but its just sad you can't see the forest for the trees, which explains why you vote Republican. First piece of advice is turn off fox news for crying out loud, no serious news or journalist would be caught dead on that channel, ask why. I don't do MSNBC either, too biased, BBC, or bust.

    July 1, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. Gurgyl

    -sorry I was out of country all these days.

    July 1, 2014 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  10. Hank

    The cat has GOV. "TOUGH TALK's" tongue?

    July 1, 2014 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  11. smith

    @Dr.Brown-That scare tactic of the fear of overturning Roe v. Wade is on the level of conservative paranoia with regards to the left wanting to ban all guns.

    July 1, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    well thank you for that unsubstantiated opinion without any basis in fact. 'suggesting'??!! democrats 'suggest' lies all the time. that is not proof and certainly not fact. the only fact right now is that there is no proof of the wild conspiracy theories of the democrats. but spend another 20-30 million more dollars and I am sure you will come up with.... nothing, no proof. just more smear headlines compliments of the lefty press.
    ----------------------------–
    The witnesses did all but mention Christie by name. If his name was "governor's office" then you would have your undeniable proof.

    BTW, did you know that the Bridgegate story was broken by a consistently conservative newspaper? It's a publication that has always endorsed and supported Christie in the past. My guess is that they do not want to see damaged goods winning the Republican nomination. Ever since Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Christie has not been well liked on the right.

    July 1, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. mister obvious

    Just saying, how about you just wait, its coming, he can't be the president if he's in jail

    July 1, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  14. anonymous

    Gurgyl
    -sorry I was out of country all these days.
    --

    Luckily you were able to slip back in over the southern border once again!

    July 1, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. mister obvious

    JS, wasn't it you who doled out harsh criticism of Hillary, when she did the same, it's called hypocracy, and you reek of it! Just saying, ha!

    July 1, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. The Real Tom Paine

    just saying
    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.
    -

    well thank you for that unsubstantiated opinion without any basis in fact. 'suggesting'??!! democrats 'suggest' lies all the time. that is not proof and certainly not fact. the only fact right now is that there is no proof of the wild conspiracy theories of the democrats. but spend another 20-30 million more dollars and I am sure you will come up with.... nothing, no proof. just more smear headlines compliments of the lefty press.

    *******
    Sounds like Issa. Nothing but the stalking horse for Rupert Murdoch and the rest of the Objectivist Trash that dominate the Right.

    July 1, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. Dna

    DR Brown.
    Did you watch the interview? By the way I never watch FOX news ever, I watch CNBC because it is the business channel and of course us who work watched the interview at 6:30 AM CST before heading to work,

    The whole point of my commit is people make off the wall commits and know nothing about it because they are uninformed.

    July 1, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  18. mister obvious

    Let's see, the gop veep for 08, had two or more investigations involving her administration, while campaigning, now Christie has the same problem, not one but two, separate investigations, just painful when you realize how many support this nonsense. I fail to see how these people in charge could be expected to work on the citizens behalf, I'll take the root canal, or colonoscopy please, just keep your God fearing gop away from me

    July 1, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  19. truth hurts but reality bites

    Christie is just too smart to take these obviously baited questions. It is why the Democrats attack him relentlessly. They know he can win in 2016 if he runs. Their bridge smear campaign is falling flat on its face, producing nothing.

    Meanwhile Hillary Clinton fumbles and falls in the polls. Democrats better have plan B ready, Biden. Good luck selling that idiot to the country. He couldn't do it in two previous attempts.

    If the Democrats get swamped this November, Hillary will not run in 2016. Take that to the bank.

    July 1, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. Tony

    A corporation is designed to shield people from liability when doing business. It is not designed for free exercise of religion. A corporation is not the alter ego of its owners, or shareholders. If the owners of the Lobby Hobby treat Hobby Lobby as their alter ego, courts should "pierce the veil" and hold the owners/shareholders of Hobby Lobby personally liable for corporate acts of Hobby Lobby.

    July 1, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  21. smith

    @Rudy-The Green family`s objection was about the morning after pill not the other forms of birth control. They provided other forms including Plan B and Ella but not the morning after pill. They equated that to abortion.

    July 1, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  22. just asking

    Dr. Brown
    I don't do MSNBC either, too biased, BBC, or bust.
    -–

    the bbc isn't left wing biased? maybe not compared to radio havana!

    July 1, 2014 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  23. NameFrank Deery

    Well, we can be sure Social Issues will arise during the GOP primaries-and-for sure-Christie will face this same question then by
    The Usual "panel" of questionaires trotted out
    Just for such issues.
    The Supreme Court ruling deals with 4 abortion inducing contraceptives, not more.
    Christie is Catholic and has said he is against abortion. So? So, he is already on eggshells over Ft Lee, so he needs "support" -from women!

    Christie will not play in 2016! I am a Republican. Bloom off that 15 minute wonder/blunder boy Rose! He dodges controversery now like Obama dodges dealing head-on with Congress. Well, even the Supreme Court is reigning that egoism in!
    But unlike a real patriot, Nixon, these perk-loving, power "boys" spin and dodge-and don't leave-and their preening is what
    is destroying our once, great nation:
    Credibility!

    Polls show I am correct.

    July 1, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. Contemplating In Michigan

    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.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________
    In fact Hobby Lobby attorney Paul Clements was specifically asked if their argument applied to all contraceptives, and he said yes.

    July 1, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  25. Dr. Brown

    I'm already at work by then, being pro life isn't what this us about, we knee he's pro life, I've worked since I was too young to legally, and when the gop tell me they want to cut my ss and Medicaid, for more tax breaks for the top 1% with record inequality, let's get real here, they are crying its unfair, please!

    July 1, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
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