- Chris Christie
Governor of New Jersey
- Christopher James "Chris" Christie is the 55th Governor of New Jersey and a leading member of the Republican Party. Wikipedia
- Born: September 6, 1962 (age 52), Newark, NJ
- Height: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
- Office: Governor of New Jersey since 2010
- Spouse: Mary Pat Foster (m. 1986)
- Education: Monmouth University (2010), More
- Children: Patrick Christie, Sarah Christie, Bridget Christie, Andrew Christie
Chris Christie fights back
By Monica Crowley (bio)
One often hears New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie before one sees him. His booming voice precedes his physical presence, announcing his arrival with the self-assurance of a seasoned executive. He will never be mistaken for a church mouse.
Mr. Christie is the quintessential Jersey guy, a Mack truck of brash opinions. His take-no-prisoners style earned him a reputation as a gruff straight-shooter, instantly catapulting him onto the national stage. In a way, he was Donald Trump before there was a political Donald Trump. But wielding his own brand of common-sense candor, Mr. Trump has largely eclipsed Mr. Christie, forcing him to play catch-up.
A Republican governing a deep-blue state with a Democratic legislature, he has faced economic challenges that have led to multiple credit downgrades, but he has also developed a record of bipartisan cooperation on tax and regulatory relief.
Mr. Christie was strongly encouraged by Republican kingmakers to run for president in 2012, but he declined, citing unreadiness. Many now feel that as a Northeast moderate running in a year in which the vibe is thoroughly anti-establishment, he may have missed his moment. Among the top-tier candidates for the first debate, he must now fight to gain ground in a fluid and unpredictable environment.
I spoke with Mr. Christie this week about a range of issues, starting with how he’d get us on the path of economic growth akin to the 6 percent to 9 percent growth rates we experienced during the Reagan recovery.
“The president’s killed economic growth in this country,” he says. “What we need to do to get economic growth going again are three different things.
“First, we need to reform the individual tax system in this country . The top rate was at 28 percent under the Reagan tax reform. That’s what it should be now. The lowest rate should be 8 percent. We should have one rate in between. But in return for everybody getting lower rates, you’ve got to get rid of all those deductions and loopholes except for two: the home mortgage interest deduction and the charitable contribution deduction. In return, you’re getting lower rates.
“Second, we have the highest business tax rate in the world, here in America [at 35 percent]. We need to get rid of their loopholes and deductions and lower it to 25 percent. That’ll put us in the middle of all the industrialized countries.
“Third, if I’m president,” he continues, “the first executive order I’m going to sign is freezing any new regulation by any department or agency of the federal government, and I’m going to ask my people to do two things: one, the same thing, bringing back these regulations to get rid of, and two, review every executive order this president has signed for the last eight years for me to rescind.”
Given the gravitational pull of the federal Leviathan, how would he bring government spending under control?
“There are only two ways to deal with it,” he replies. “It’s to reduce and control spending and then to get economic growth. You’re not going to cut your way into eliminating that debt. There’s simply not enough money you could cut. You have to grow this economy, you have to work from both ends. You have to be disciplined to keep government spending where it is now, and not let it grow .
“The scary thing about $19 trillion in debt is that we are at about zero percent interest rates right now,” he says. “When interest rates start to go back up, which they inevitably will, it will eat us alive . The entitlement reform that I put forward would save $1.2 trillion in the next 10 years. Those are the kind of things we need to do to be able to make those programs solvent and to deal with the long-term debt issue.”
Turning to illegal immigration, I ask an important but often overlooked question: U.S. policy used to require periods of time to elapse between immigrant waves to allow for assimilation, i.e., Americanization. Over the past 50 years, that policy has ceased. Would he resurrect it, and if so, how?
“We have to,” he says without hesitation. “For those coming here legally, we must make them speak English and learn our history. Those are the two most important things to encourage legal immigrants to assimilate and truly become American. We have to get back to it.”
He closes on an optimistic note. When I ask if he worries — like so many Americans — that Mr. Obama has largely succeeded in “fundamentally transforming the nation” from a self-reliant society built on individual freedom into a government dependency society, he responds emphatically.
“No. The president has not irrevocably changed this country. He has moved us backward economically, in terms of our fundamental rights and our place in the world. But with strong leadership, it can be reversed and we can start restoring America.”
Mr. Christie speaks with authority, knowledge and force, but in this large and dynamic field, is it enough? He’s a tough guy in an unforgiving business, and barreling through challenges is what he does best. This is the fight of his political life, but as a Garden State girl, I know to never underestimate a Jersey guy
Chris Christie 'Standout' at Romney Utah Event
By Newsmax Wires | Saturday, 13 Jun 2015 11:40 PM
Though widely perceived to be near the back of the 2016 presidential pack, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie apparently gained some momentum over the weekend with what was described as a "standout" performance at Mitt Romney’s E2 GOP donor summit in Utah.
"People were very impressed yesterday with Chris Christie. They were impressed with Lindsey Graham. Those are examples of two candidates they hadn't seen much of," Spencer Zwick, Romney's long-time fundraising guru told The Salt Lake Tribune. That was echoed by a half-dozen other attendees who spoke to the Tribune.
What made Christie so special? It wasn’t so much his stump speech as what several donors said was his blunt answers during the Q-and-A sessions and in informal conversations.
He made his standard point that he has taken on unions while winning consistently in a Northeastern, traditionally Democratic state. But he also went after Sen. Rand Paul on his security positions as well as criticizing the party.
Paul "has made America weaker and more vulnerable and he has done it for his own personal political gain and he has done it to raise money," Christie said at one point. The GOP, meanwhile, has alienated many groups that should be natural Republicans.
The party needs to win the heart of the American people, Christie said, according to the paper.
"If we do, our ideas have always been better, but we haven't gotten to our ideas often because we haven't won them here," Christie said, pointing to his heart. "We've got to crack our chest open and show them our heart and show them we understand who they are and we understand their anxiety and we understand they've been let down by a government that is so dysfunctional."
Better Late than Never: Christie Turns on Common CoreChris Christie has seen the light on Common Core.
BY LOGAN ALBRIGHT
2 days ago
Say what you will about Republican governors, eventually they catch on. Well, most of them do, anyway (I’m looking at you, Jeb.)The latest addition to the ever-expanding number of governors turning against Common Core education standards is New Jersey’s own Chris Christie
In a recent speech, Christie spoke about a desire to wrest power “away from the bureaucrats in Washington, DC” when it comes to education, arguing that New Jersey should be able to create its own standards to suit its residents. Christie’s conversion is admittedly tempered by his calling for standards that are “even higher” than Common Core, but at least he recognizes how badly things go wrong when you put the feds in charge of state issues.
With this reversal, Christie joins the ranks of Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, and Mike Huckabee, all of whom initially supported Common Core, but turned against it when they saw its devastating effects on state education systems.
Back in 2013, Christie dismissed Republican opposition to the standards as a “knee-jerk” reaction against anything Obama wanted to do. It’s gratifying to hear that he has seen the light, learning that conservatives can actually have some pretty thoughtful positions.
It’s a testament to just how bad the federal government was bungled education policy that even governors with less than conservative records in other areas are recognizing that Common Core doesn’t work. The federal government has no authority to dictate education policy at the state level, but through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (also known as No Child Left Behind) the Department of Education has been bullying states into adopting standards against their best interests. That type of coercion has to stop if states are ever going to be truly free of Common Core’s effects.
It’s not surprising that Christie has taken the opportunity to clarify his position on Common Core now. Public support for the standards is declining and the issue is likely to be a major deciding factorin the upcoming presidential election. Anyone who hopes to do well in the GOP primary would be wise to vocally oppose them. It is still unclear whether Christie intends to run, but here’s hoping his newfound distrust of the standards results in some education reform legislation coming out of New Jersey in the near future.
Christie drops outThe New Jersey governor had made a big push in New Hampshire, but only mustered a sixth-place finish.
By ALEX ISENSTADT and DANIEL STRAUSS
02/10/16 11:10 AM EST
Updated 02/10/16 05:32 PM EST
Chris Christie has suspended his presidential campaign.
The New Jersey governor posted on Facebook Wednesday afternoon to say he was leaving the race "without an ounce of regret," an announcement that followed an in-person meeting in Morristown where he thanked supporters and informed them of his decision, according to a campaign spokesperson.
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Christie dropped out after finishing sixth in New Hampshire with 7.4 percent of the vote.
Christie had laid the groundwork for a hard push in New Hampshire long before the race kicked into high gear, but his candidacy was eclipsed by a large Republican primary field that sucked away voters from all angles. It was difficult for Christie to appeal to voters craving a blunt Republican with Donald Trump in the field. And for the voters looking to back an establishment-aligned candidate with political experience, Christie was crowded out by Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Christie's campaign hasn’t gone without some successful moments. A video clip of him talking about addiction went viral, shifting the national spotlight briefly to his campaign. In the second half of 2015, he started to pick up steam in New Hampshire and briefly looked destined to place the highest of any establishment candidate in that primary.
Christie misses cut for prime-time GOP debate
By Mark Lagerkvist / November 5, 2015
UPSTAGED: Gov. Chris Christie is not invited to next week’s prime-time GOP debate
Poor poll numbers will keep Chris Christie off the main stage for next Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate on Fox Business Network.
The New Jersey governor missed the cut by one quarter of a percentage point. In the four polls used to determine the debate threshold, Christie averaged 2.25 percent support.
The exclusion could trigger a death spiral for Christie’s candidacy. Despite promises not to quit the race, the exclusion will make it tougher for his campaign to raise money and woo supporters.
The eight candidates who qualified for the prime time debate are Donald Trump (25.3 percent), Ben Carson (24.5 percent), Marco Rubio (11.8 percent), Ted Cruz (10.0 percent), Jeb Bush (5.5 percent), Carly Fiorina (3.0 percent), John Kasich (2.8 percent) and Rand Paul (2.5 percent).
Instead of the prime-time, Christie will be invited to a 7 p.m. “happy hour” session, along with Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum.
The good news is that Christie will get to talk more. During the two-hour debate on CNBC last month, the governor was only able to speak for eight minutes.
The bad news is fewer viewers are likely to tune in.
On Twitter, Christie reacted: “It doesn’t matter the stage, give me a podium and I’ll be there to talk about real issues like this: http://christiene.ws/1Nvu40o #BringItOn”
The polls used to determine debate participants were conducted by Fox News, Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP, Quinnipiac University, and The Wall Street Journal/NBC News.
Bridge scandal charges may prove a mixed bag for Christie
By JILL COLVIN8 hours ago
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The charges handed down against three former allies of Gov. Chris Christie in the George Washington Bridge traffic scandal provide mixed news for the Republican governor as he tries to regain momentum in support of an expected presidential bid.
Christie appears to have been cleared of any allegations that he personally participated in a scheme to shut down access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in September 2013. But the charges brought by the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey still hit close to home: His former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, and his former top appointee to the authority that controls the bridge, Bill Baroni, have both been indicted. David Wildstein, another ally, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy.
The charges also return focus to a famously bruising political style associated with Christie's administration. The documents unveiled Friday paint the trio as vindictive and petty bullies who plotted — and then covered up — a scheme to gridlock the town of Fort Lee to punish its Democratic mayor for not endorsing Christie's re-election bid.
State Assemblyman John Wisniewski, a Democrat and co-chairman of a legislative committee investigating the scandal, said that with Wildstein's guilty plea, "the people of New Jersey have more reason to be skeptical of Gov. Christie's leadership style built upon bullying and retaliation."
Christie's aides and backers hope the developments will allow the governor to put this chapter behind him less than a year before the first presidential primaries, even as legal proceedings have just begun. In many ways, the outcome was the best he could have hoped for — little new information and no names mentioned beyond those Christie had already cut ties to.
"Today's charges make clear that what I've said from day one is true, I had no knowledge or involvement in the planning or execution of this act," Christie said in statement. "The moment I first learned of this unacceptable behavior I took action, firing staff believed to be accountable, calling for an outside investigation and agreeing to fully cooperate with all appropriate investigations, which I have done."
Raw: Ex-Christie Ally Pleads GuiltyPlay video
In early voting states, Republican strategists and activists largely shrugged off the latest step in the scandal.
"Nobody's paying any attention in New Hampshire," said Steve Duprey, a Republican national committeeman who was a top adviser to John McCain's 2008 presidential bid. "I think everyone's accepted the governor's explanation and, barring a bombshell that contradicts what he's said in the past, people want to hear what he'd want to do as president."
Fergus Cullen, a former chair of the state's Republican Party, said he thought it was unlikely that the perceptions of most New Hampshire voters would change.
"People have already made up their minds as to whether they think it's a deal or not," Cullen said. "I don't think it's going to harm his ability to compete and to win here at all."
But Iowa's Pete Rogers, chair of the Marshall County Republicans, said the developments in the case had not helped Christie in the leadoff caucus state.
In this Thursday, April 23, 2015, file photo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses a gathering d …
"I would say, personally, Iowa likes its politics a little cleaner than what one expects from Chicago or the East Coast," said Rogers, who doesn't think Christie will have much traction in Iowa.
In Durham, New Hampshire, Diane Cole, 53, who attended Christie's town hall meeting at Shooters Pub during his visit to the state last month, said the day's events were "good news" for Christie, whom she'd never thought had been involved in the bridge scheme.
Cole, who lived in New Jersey in the 1980s, described the trio's alleged actions as "a very Jersey mentality move," but she said it didn't rock her support for the governor.
"I think it's very unfortunate, but I think it speaks volumes about their passion and their belief in him," she said.
Associated Press writers David Porter, Kathleen Ronayne in Concord, New Hampshire; Catherine Lucey in Des Moines, Iowa; and Geoff Mulvihill in Trenton, New Jersey, contributed to this report.