Gov. Christie: ‘You have to be pro-life when they get out of the womb’
July 25th, 2014
04:30 AM ET
8 years ago

Gov. Christie: ‘You have to be pro-life when they get out of the womb’

(CNN) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday there’s far too many people sitting in prisons for non-violent drug crimes and called on Republicans to focus on people not just before they’re born but after as well.

“I’m pro-life and if you’re pro-life you have to be pro-life when they get out of the womb also,” Christie said in an appearance at the Aspen Institute in Colorado, similar to comments he made last month at a major social conservative gathering in the nation's capital.
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Christie was in Colorado for events associated with his role as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

Thursday night’s event was a panel with other Republican governors including, Rick Scott of Florida, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Christie said the justice system must stop stigmatizing the disease of drug addiction and focus more on rehabilitation.

“We don’t give them any kind of significant treatment, long-range treatment, and then we release them. And then we wonder why they go back and commit more crimes to support their habit,” Christie said.

The potential 2016 presidential candidate also said giving drug addicts treatment instead of prison time would help the economy too.

“You get someone off of drugs and back into a productive life, that not only helps society and our economy financially but it also makes us feel better about who we are,” Christie said.

The U.S. Sentencing Commission voted last week to reduce some the sentences of some drug offenders in federal prisons after Attorney General Eric Holder called for it.

The vote still needs to be approved by Congress and prisoners would have to apply for the reductions.

Meanwhile, Christie encouraged the GOP to focus on its core values while changing the norms for punishment in the war on drugs.

“If we are a party that believes that every life is precious and that no one, no one should be deprived of a second chance, well then we need to get on that issue,” Christie said.

Chris Christie's 'pro-life' message

Last month Christie was well received as he spoke at the fifth annual Road to the Majority conference, which is organized by Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition.

Christie touted his credentials on important social issues, and framed the issue of drug addiction and treatment in a social conservative way.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: Chris Christie
soundoff (148 Responses)
  1. Bridget

    Courageous stance, Governor, given your base. It will be interesting to see if you can move the needle.

    July 25, 2014 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  2. itsamystery

    I totally agree with Ellas' comment. What some pro-lifers are against is women getting pregnant (as if they got pregnant on their own) and having "illegitimate" kids. I long ago had a baby and kept it (b4 it was common) and we both suffered and struggled, but are now both extremely successful in spite of all the extreme pushback, bullying, etc. Even though I raised my child, I am pro-choice. If society can leave me alone to raise my child, then they can trust women to make their own decisions. Also agree with Ellas; rich women will always have available abortion for themselves and their young daughters

    July 25, 2014 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  3. rondonaghe

    Christie is right, the problem with those who want to force women to carry unwanted children to term is that they stop caring once the child is born, neglected, and abused. In fact, Ayn Rand Republicans would insist that no help occur, once the baby is out of the womb.

    July 25, 2014 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  4. Draax

    Define paradox: One who is pro-life, while in the womb, but pro-death penalty after the fact.

    July 25, 2014 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  5. MarieEricksson

    Christie clearly does not know his audience, or he is purposely tailoring his message not to his GOP base, but to independents. Right-wingers are conservative because their underlying belief system is based on fear of anything or anyone they don’t understand….that means you have to look, talk, think and act like them to get any sympathy if your life happens to go a little sideways…..

    July 25, 2014 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  6. John

    Tom Bukowski......I read your post and would like to provide you some insight. There are untold numbers of couples looking to adopt newborn children. Many of these couples have to spend thousands of dollars in advertising costs in an attempt to find a birthmom willing to place their child for adoption. In other words, there are many more couples that are most eager to adopt than the number of newborns available for adoption.

    July 25, 2014 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  7. Mark A

    Right Rudy.. and it isn't hypocritical when the pro choice people express firm support for abolishing the death penalty.

    July 25, 2014 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  8. mamacat

    I believe in the sanctity of life for all. Life is a precious gift and we need to start teaching people to respect it. No abortions, no death penalty. We need to teach that life has meaning.

    July 25, 2014 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  9. GOP = Greed Over People

    “I’m pro-life and if you’re pro-life you have to be pro-life when they get out of the womb also,”

    Finally, something I can agree with Christy on.

    Unfortunately, this is in words only, his deeds by cutting services to the poor so he does not have to raise NJ taxes, speaks volumes of hypocrisy!

    July 25, 2014 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  10. Karen

    John – there are more couples than babies? You actually typed that? Have you been to Newark? They can hook you up with a child in minutes! Want a newborn? No problem! There are so many children that need a home – so many that no one wants.

    July 25, 2014 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  11. SteveInMN

    "Christie....called on Republicans to focus on people not just before they’re born but after as well."

    The Republiban would have NO IDEA what this means, or how to process it.

    July 25, 2014 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  12. Bob

    I agree that something needs to be done about the number of people in prison, but this whole pro-life = people in prison thing is just plain silly. Criminals are in prison because they broke the law. They made a choice to put themselves in prison. A fetus can't make choices.

    July 25, 2014 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  13. mike_a

    Equally troubling to me in this "arena" of pro-lifers is the non discussions of existing unwanted children in this country living in foster homes/care/orphanges, these unwanted children are most often released back into society with little life skills, bare eduction (if HS or a GED at best) and the mind blower, all of the mental and physical baggage sadly all long associated with being in the system. Most number put it at well over 500K of unwanted children. These are sadly a high percentage of the pipeline to our penal system yet all of these pro-lifers never acknowledge this epidemic of stored humans.

    All they convey is the "saved life of a beautiful healthy blonde white baby". They love "saving" the unborn, but could care less in reality for them once they arrive. Cake and pie all at once at a cost of the actual human being that for the most part, is a tragically forgotten minority child (based on the demo's).

    July 25, 2014 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  14. Al

    It's sad that Republicans need to be reminded that they should also be concern with the lives of children post birth.

    July 25, 2014 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  15. cmcle

    I smell an orchestrated Republican propaganda campaign starting as we head toward the midterm elections. Three events in two days I've witnessed. First there was a preview on for his show tonight with Arthur Brooks, a "compassionate conservative" who talks about conservatives caring about the poor and that, as they now declare it, we'll have no doubt where their hearts are (an ironic statement). Last night, I learned about Paul Ryan's budget and his "concern" for the poor. Today we have news of Chris Christie claiming that people are still people even after they're born. This should be quite a ride, especially for the ignorant and gullible

    July 25, 2014 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  16. Anonymous

    Question for you religion backed pro-lifers, why the uneven wealth distribution? Seems like if you care so much about life, you wouldn't give tax breaks to the 1% while continuing to tax the middle class and poor. Everyone deserves a chance am i right?

    July 25, 2014 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  17. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    I have always found it to be the height of hypocrisy to listen to the self proclaimed "pro-life" people also express firm support for the death penalty.
    A lot of us who are pro-life are anti capital punishment, so don't go painting with such a broad brush.

    I happen to be against terminating a human life whatever the case, and sometimes that's difficult in the case of the death penalty – when the crime is so heinous, the doubt of guilt non-existant, and any semblace of remorse absent.

    Personally I think your equating the death penalty to abortion in this context is pretty shabby. You're equating a completely innocent victim to a hardened, often psychopathic monster, Not a fair comparison whatsoever. Nevertheless, in my eyes, ALL human life is precious.

    July 25, 2014 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  18. oldbones24

    I'm pro choice, pro death penalty, and pro end life choice. For me it is all about quality of life and freedom of choice. It is hypocritical to say pro life and pro death penalty.

    July 25, 2014 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  19. timverba

    The Republicans believe in pro-life for the innocent. Therefore, it is accesptable to promote the deth penalty for criminals (sinners). However, the Republicans believe in original sin, that we are all sinners upon birth. Thus, there is a very short window of human innocence in the eyes of the Republicans. Thus, they pay little attention to protecting life after birth.

    July 25, 2014 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  20. Greg

    "Christie clearly does not know his audience, or he is purposely tailoring his message not to his GOP base, but to independents."

    Well...yeah. Of course he is. Christie was never going to get hard core tea party votes, that was never his base. He's a moderate by modern GOP standards. Some in the GOP are starting to realize that bending over backwards to the tea party is only killing the Republican party as a whole. They'll never win a national general election if they keep throwing up crazy people like Perry, Santorum, Bachmann, Cruz, Paul, Ryan, et al. No sane independent or democrat will ever vote for them over even a mediocre democrat and rightfully so.

    July 25, 2014 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  21. Nikko

    it is about time someone from the right recognized this horrifying contradiction. while they hate abortion, they don't want to protect the child when it is born, they support the death penalty, they like war and they support guns. either you hate murder or you don't. which way is it!!

    thank you Chris...for your courage and logic

    July 25, 2014 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  22. Morbo

    Thank you governor. A thoughtful and lucid answer. YOU WILL BE DESTROYED!

    July 25, 2014 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  23. MarylandBill

    A lot of what Christie is saying here makes sense, and indeed many have been saying it for years, but none had a high enough profile that the media would pay attention (The pro-choice side wants people to think that every pro-lifer only thinks about abortion).

    The basic problem with the Democrats is that whenever a program doesn't work, their answer is always the same, throw more money at it and hope that that fixes it (it rarely does). Yes, a lot of Republicans just want to cut taxes, and don't care about social programs, but some (and I am sure some Democrats too), think that we need to try different approaches. Of course, any attempt to cut programs that just don't work that well, despite what you might be replacing them with is demonized by those who have vested interests in maintaining the program.

    July 25, 2014 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  24. Elaine

    The republican party is NOT pro-life. They are pro-fetus. Just take a good look at how they approach funding for Headstart, WIC, Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, etc. etc. in comparison to the military, oil company subsidies, etc. etc. Where the money goes is the real priority.

    July 25, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  25. Ronnie was a RINO!

    Christie is a RINO! Christie is a RINO! Once you're born, you're on your own. Freedom, liberty, buy yerself a gun and off you go into the world.

    July 25, 2014 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
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