Chris Christie on Principles & Values



No federal department to promote Judeo-Christian values

Q: One of your Republican rivals, Governor John Kasich, said this week the U.S. should create a new government agency to promote Judeo-Christian values around the world.˙Some think such an agency would violate the separation between church and state. What do you think?˙

CHRISTIE: I don't think that's something we need to do.˙What I want to see is a nation that continues to say, we want you to practice your religion and practice it vigorously. And as long as you practice it peacefully, and you're not trying to impose your religious values on anyone else, then you should be able to practice it the way you want.˙ I don't think we need another government agency, quite frankly. I don't think we need to add more layers of bureaucracy to this government and add more expense. And so, no, that's not something I would favor.

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 22, 2015

Sometimes must tell constituents to sit down & shut up

In a twenty-minute Q&A session, Christie repeatedly argued that the media has given conservatives the wrong idea about him. Again and again, he trashed the media, suggesting that "when you do things that I've done, when you take on a lot of these special interests that they [the media] support, they'll kill you." He also argued that he's much more conservative than you might expect, bragging about how he proved that a pro-life Republican could win in the Northeast. "Don't believe what the media will tell you," he said.

Christie tried to portray his fiery persona as just what Washington needs. When asked about his temper and specifically a past comment that a constituent should sit down and shut up, Christie answered, "Sometimes people need to be told to sit down and shut up," to cheers and applause. "There should be more of that stuff in Washington, DC," he added. "Someone should say it's time to shut up."

Source: Vox.com coverage of 2015 Conservative Political Action Conf. , Feb 27, 2015

Cleared of Bridgegate blame, but more investigations coming

Q: It took nearly three months and $1 million taxpayer dollars for a hand-picked law firm to find it, clearing the N.J. governor of any responsibility for Bridgegate. Chris Christie may be feeling pretty good about the investigation he could control. But the next two he cannot, including one underway here at the State House in New Jersey, and the next critical one, the U.S. attorney's probe. The federal investigation could take two years to complete. But with the endorsement of his own lawyers, Governor Christie began a media blitz this week:

CHRISTIE: This report says that I had no knowledge of it before it happened, nor did I authorize it or have anything to do with it. Ask that's the truth.

Q: The report and the governor blame fired deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly, who released a statement calling the report venomous and offering to cooperate with the federal investigation if granted immunity.

Source: ABC This Week 2014 series of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Mar 30, 2014

Parties should become pragmatic when they are out of power

Christie mocked President Obama for entering office without "a respect for the other party," complained that George W. Bush was "grossly underappreciated" in the White House and seemed to make a novel case for his own, now-blemished candidacy for president in 2016. The successful presidential campaigns of both Bush and Bill Clinton, Christie said, required displeased skeptics within their own parties to "suck it up and get behind" them. The party, Christie appeared to argue implicitly, should do the same when it comes to him. "Parties tend to become pragmatic when they are powerless," he said. "It's time for us to get pragmatic." Clinton, he said to knowing laughs, "was far from the perfect candidate."
Source: NY Times on "NY Region" in 2013, 2016 presidential hopefuls , Feb 12, 2014

More important for leaders to be respected than to be loved

The greatest lesson Mom ever taught me, though, was this one: she told me there would be times in your life when you have to choose between being loved and being respected. She said to always pick being respected, that love without respect was always fleeting--but that respect could grow into real, lasting love.

Now, of course, she was talking about women. But I have learned over time that it applies just as much to leadership. In fact, I think that advice applies to America today more than ever. I believe we have become paralyzed by our desire to be loved.

Our founding fathers had the wisdom to know that social acceptance and popularity is fleeting and that this country's principles needed to be rooted in strengths greater than the passions and emotions of the times. Our leaders today have decided it is more important to be popular, to do what is easy and say "yes," rather than to say no when "no" is what's required.

Source: 2012 Republican National Convention speech , Aug 28, 2012

Interest in politics started at age 14 in Junior High School

Interest in politics started at age 14 in Junior High School Chris Christie knew from childhood, at an age when most kids dreamed of being a firefighter or an astronaut, that he wanted to be a trial lawyer. When he was 10 years old and his grandmother asked what he wanted for Christmas, Chris said he wanted a law Interest in politics started at age 14 in Junior High School Republican nomination for governor, spoke at his school and struck a chord.

Whatever caused the spark, at that point Christie decided he wanted to be involved in politics. After he excitedly told his mother about the guest speaker and his desire to

Source: Rise to Power, by B. Ingle & M. Symons, p. 27-28 , Jun 5, 2012

1995: Unapologetic about taking on the establishment

1995: Unapologetic about taking on the establishment In a 5-candidate race where 3 people won, Christie finished in the running in only 7 of Morris County's 39 towns. Christie said he was the victim of "a $250,000 2x4 of negative campaigning."

"I have to accept this; I have no choice. When you place 1995: Unapologetic about taking on the establishment wrong. "The most polite way for me to have proceeded would have been to blend into the background and not make waves. But I was elected because I espoused a certain set of ideas. I felt a moral obligation to pursue those ideas, even if it was politically

Source: Rise to Power, by B. Ingle & M. Symons, p. 58-59 , Jun 5, 2012

Lifelong struggle with weight, despite repeated efforts

Corzine ran ads showing Christie stepping from an SUV in slow motion, his girth moving in several directions at once under his shirt. And just to drive the point home, a voice-over said that Christie "threw his weight around" in trying to avoid traffic tickets. Corzine appeared to be trying to send a subtle message that Christie was reckless with his health and maybe so in other ways.

Christie handled it with humor: "I'm slightly overweight. Apparently this has become a great cause of discussion. I don't know what that has to do with being governor."

For Christie, his weight had been a lifelong struggle, starting when he was a chubby kid. He said in 2012, "There is a certain compulsiveness at times to my eating." He would make repeated efforts to lose weight. Losses were often followed by gains, even after as governor he began to see a dietician, hooked up with a personal trainer, and worked out four days a week. "I weigh too much because I eat too much. And I eat some bad things, too."

Source: Rise to Power, by B. Ingle & M. Symons, p.156-157 , Jun 5, 2012

Occupy Movement and Tea Party agree on anger at government

I believe that the Occupy movement and the Tea Party movement come--their genesis--are from the same feeling, which is an anger that government can't get things done, Christie said. "And so, now, that is the last similarity between the Tea Party movement and the Occupy movement. But I believe that the cause for their anger comes from the same place. They look at Washington DC and they look at a president who a bystander in the Oval Office."

He said, "I mean, I will tell you that I think both parties deserve blame for what's going on in Washington DC, both parties do. They're spending more time talking at each other than talking with each other. We all know what the solutions to these problems are, we've done them in NJ in many areas, but we don't have the political will to get them done."

Source: Rise to Power, by B. Ingle & M. Symons, p.244 , Jun 5, 2012

OpEd: U.S. Attorney office often leads to statewide posts

In a state where law, politics, crime, and headlines create a powerful alchemy, there is no appointed post more powerful or sought after than the US Attorney. On top of everything else the position has going for it, US Attorney is one of only a tiny handful of jobs with statewide authority. NJ, because of its compact geography and its past as a small population bedroom for NY and Philadelphia, has only one Justice Department district. So the US Attorney is the undisputed top federal law enforcement official in the state. It is a perch from which many have graduated to lucrative legal practices and judgeships, including a spot on the US Supreme Court (Justice Samuel Alito is a former NJ US Attorney). And it's the place that revived Chris Christie's dead political career.
Source: The Jersey Sting, by Sherman & Margolin, p.255 , Apr 10, 2012

His idol: Bruce Springsteen; favorite song: Thunder Road

In Christie's 7th-floor office was a bottle of Mr. Clean household cleanser, emblazoned with a photo of the US Attorney's face on the label. The office itself was a shrine to Christie the fanatic, decorated with all sorts of memorabilia from his beloved NY Mets and a signed Fender guitar from his idol, NJ rocker Bruce Springsteen. A Springsteen freak, Christie was known to shut the door before a news conference and turn up the volume on classics from the E Street Band, getting himself juiced before meeting the press to talk about a major arrest. More often than not, it was the song "Thunder Road," and Christie, who once flew to London, England, just to catch a live Springsteen performance, had a tendency to sing aloud.
Source: The Jersey Sting, by Sherman & Margolin, p. 84 , Apr 10, 2012

2006: Questioned for subpoenas timing to affect elections

The US Attorney's office--under the control of Chris Christie--took on a central role in Menendez's life. Two months before the 2006 election, federal prosecutors very publicly subpoenaed records connected to a rental deal between Menendez and a community-service agency that won federal grants. The controversial subpoena would multiply into a small series and it became a critical element of the election. Inside the US Attorney's office, Christie authorized the first subpoena in 2006, ignoring the potential effect it could have on the Kean-Menendez balloting.

It was a move that infuriated Democrats, who accused Christie of issuing the subpoena specifically to affect the election.

Source: The Jersey Sting, by Sherman & Margolin, p.260-261 , Apr 10, 2012

The New Jersey Comeback: stop blaming; start building

Today, I am proud to report that the New Jersey Comeback has begun.

How do we know it has begun? Just look around you. In the last two years, we have come together to address the mess that was our budget. The decline, deficits, and departures that plagued our State just two years ago have been reversed. The budget is balanced. Our unemployment rate is no longer going up, it is coming down. Job growth has been restored--in the private sector, where we want it. New Jersey is back.

We have restrained the growth of property taxes. We have put our pensions on a more stable and sustainable footing. And in doing all this, we have restored confidence and pride in NJ.

For New Jersey, the corner has been turned. Today, the debate is not about who to blame for our failures, it is how to build on our successes. It is no longer about how to deal with devastating decline; it is now about how to push New Jersey even further ahead. To be better than we thought we could be.

Source: N.J. 2012 State of the State Address , Jan 17, 2012

Catholicism informs who I am; but not my political decisions

Q: You're a Catholic.

A: I am.

Q: When I interviewed Mitt Romney, he made quite a surprising statement. He intended to divorce all matters of his faith from his political life. I figured that he did this because he sees being a Mormon as a potential weakness to the electorate. Do you see that you can do that? Can you divorce being a Catholic with all that means that you stand for as a Catholic and I'm a Catholic, from running for high office?

A: Well, I think you have to understand that we are not a religious democracy. Religion to me is a personal thing. And so, you know, I have to make certain decisions. My decisions are going to be made based on what I think is best for all the people of New Jersey. My Catholicism informs part of who I am. But it does not rule who I am.

Source: Interview on CNN "Piers Morgan Tonight" , Jun 15, 2011

Spent beyond government travel allowance as US Attorney

The Republican candidate for governor, who has campaigned on a platform of ethical integrity and cutting government waste, regularly spent beyond federal guidelines on business travel while US attorney, records show. The newly released travel records sho that Christie occasionally billed taxpayers more than $400 a night for stays in luxury hotels and exceeded the government's hotel allowance on 14 of 16 business trips he took in 2008.

Christie said he stayed in more expensive hotels only when cheaper ones weren't available. "We always went for government rates first," he said. "I don't think there were a lot of stays in 5-star hotels."

The travel records date to when he was sworn in as US attorney in 2002. The limits are updated regularly to reflec inflation, seasonal price jumps and other economic realities of business travel. Federal employees who exceed the allowance are required to explain why, though the justification merely requires an extra layer of approval that is routinely granted.

Source: Associated Press coverage of 2009 NJ gubernatorial race , Oct 13, 2009

Children attend parochial school

Mary Pat and I have been blessed with four beautiful children and like many New Jersey parents, we have worked hard to instill strong values in each of them. Our children attend parochial school where we hope their studies will help guide them in their faith and reinforce the values we teach them at home. Experiences in my life, along with my faith, have led me to believe in the sanctity, dignity and inherent value of all human life.
Source: 2009 Gubernatorial campaign website, christiefornj.com , Jul 21, 2009

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Page last updated: Jun 15, 2016