Tag Archives: Chris Christie

Chris Christie Endorses Donald Trump for President

Former Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed current front runner Donald Trump on Friday.

“I am proud to be here to endorse Donald Trump for president of the United States,” Christie said at a press conference. “The best person to beat Hillary Clinton on that stage last night is undoubtedly Donald Trump.”

[RELATED: GOP Debate: Without Rand Paul Present, Chris Christie’s Assad Comments Go Unchallenged]

Christie also referred to Trump’s rival, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), as “desperate” following Thursday night’s presidential debate.

While CNN described Christie’s move as a “surprise endorsement,” PolitickerNJ reported on Monday that an anonymous source said that Christie “should endorse Trump now— as soon as this week— in order to make himself that first key establishment player to legitimize the tycoon and set himself up as a forward-thinking ally in the Trump camp.”

Jon Ward of Yahoo Politics wrote that he had asked Christie, 24 hours before Christie ended his campaign, why he refrained from going after Trump during a debate ahead of the New Hampshire Primary. While maintaining he could have effectively attacked Trump during that debate, Christie said, “I do so at a time and place of my choosing. There’s no need for me to do that now.”

“Listen, there were plenty of people shooting at Donald over the course of this time, and I wanted to focus on— when the campaign came into real focus— who I had to take on,” said Christie. “The guy I needed to take on in New Hampshire was Marco Rubio.”

[RELATED: Christie Condemns ‘Civil Liberties Extremists’, Argues To Maintain NSA Surveillance In NH Speech]

Christie had, however, criticized Trump in January, describing him as a “thirteen-year-old” for choosing to not attend a debate hosted by Fox News.

“What’s that tell you about what we can expect if things go sideways when you go into the Oval Office? What are you going to do? Go upstairs to the residence and say I’m not playing?” he said. “You know, Vladimir Putin isn’t being nice to me, I’m not going to return his call? The press isn’t being nice to me, I’m not going to hold any more press conferences?”

Last August, Christie told Fox News that “Donald’s a great guy and a good person. But I just don’t think that he’s suited to be president of the United States.”

For more election coverage, click here.

Follow Annabelle Bamforth on Twitter.

GOP Debate: Without Rand Paul Present, Chris Christie’s Assad Comments Go Unchallenged

During the sixth GOP presidential debate of the 2016 election on Thursday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was asked about the importance of toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“Governor Christie, how important is it to remove Assad from power and how would you do it?” Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo asked, noting that former GOP candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham has said that the U.S. will find “Arab support” for its coalition against ISIS if Assad is removed.

“You’re not going to have peace in Syria with Assad in charge. You’re simply not,” Christie replied. “And so Senator Graham is right about this.”

Christie criticized President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s approach, saying that Obama initially said, “If Assad uses chemical weapons against his people, that we’re going to attack.”

“He used chemical weapons, he’s killed, now, over a quarter of a million of his own people, and this president has done nothing,” Christie said. “In fact, he’s done worse than nothing.”

[RELATED: Reality Check: GOP Candidates Completely Wrong on Origin of ISIS in Latest Debate]

Christie went on to claim that Obama has used Russian President Vladimir Putin to “negotiate getting those chemical weapons back from Assad,” and as a result he said that the Russians and the Iranians are working together, “not to fight ISIS, but to prop up Assad.”

“The fact of the matter is that we are not going to have peace – we are not going to have peace in Syria,” Christie said. “We’re not going to be able to rebuild it unless we put a no-fly zone there, make it safe for those folks so we don’t have to be talking about Syrian refugees anymore.”

While Christie’s comments about Assad in Syria are nothing new, there was a noticeable difference in the fact that not one of the candidates on stage challenged his rhetoric.

[RELATED: GOP Debate: Rand Paul Warns of Consequences of Regime Change in Syria]

During the fifth GOP debate on Dec. 15, Christie claimed that ISIS is created and formed because of the abuse that Assad and his Iranian sponsors have rained down on the Sunnis in Syria.” 

He was challenged by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who argued that had Assad been bombed when he used chemical weapons two years ago, ISIS would be in charge of all of Syria now.”

“There are still people—the majority on the stage, they want to topple Assad,” Paul said. “And then there will be chaos, and I think ISIS will then be in charge of Syria.”

Paul also responded to Christie’s calls for a “no-fly zone” over Syria during the Dec. debate, saying, “Well, I think if you’re in favor of World War III, you have your candidate.”

For more election coverage, click here.

Fact Check: Christie Did Not Stop Obamacare in New Jersey

WISCONSIN, November 11, 2015– During Tuesday night’s Republican undercard debate hosted by Fox Business News, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie tried to convince America that he stood up to the Obama agenda when he claimed that, as Governor, he “stopped Obamacare in New Jersey because we refused to participate in the federal exchange.” While some of that statement is partly true, Christie actually followed along with other liberal governors and took steps to save Obamacare.

According to the Tenth Amendment Center, a states’ rights organization dedicated to fighting federal overreach, there are four steps that states needed to take in order to stop Obamacare in their state.

The first step is refusing to set up a state exchange. In 2012, Christie vetoed a state health insurance exchange bill.

Under Obamacare, the federal government is relying heavily on states to use their own resources to support the law by setting up a state exchange. Why? Because the federal government simply couldn’t handle implementing the law on their own.

However, Christie stopped short of doing anything else to stop Obamacare. In fact, he propped it up.

The next thing states could have done to help kill Obamacare was to refuse to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. However, Governor Christie accepted Medicaid expansion in New Jersey.

In fact, the Wall Street Journal ran an article noting that Christie’s move to expand Medicaid under Obamacare had angered Republicans.

The third thing Christie could have done to stop Obamacare was to prohibit the State Insurance Commissioner from investigating and enforcing health insurance requirements. However, Christie did not do so.

Finally, Christie could have used legislation to block the IRS’s ObamaCare taxes by suspending the licenses of insurers that accept the subsidies. “Since no insurer would then accept one, not a single employer in the state could be hit with the employer-mandate penalties those subsidies trigger,” states the Tenth Amendment Center. However, Christie didn’t do so.

Judge Andrew Napolitano said that if a number of states were willing to follow the above 4 steps, then Obamacare would be gutted.

Taken together, had Christie performed these four steps, he could have actually stopped the implementation of Obamacare in New Jersey. However, he did the opposite, which actually saved Obamacare in New Jersey.

FOLLOW MICHAEL LOTFI ON Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn.



Report: N.J. Gov. Christie Has Spent Over Half of 2015 Campaigning Out-of-State

N.J. Governor Chris Christie has reportedly already attended out-of-state presidential campaign events on 141 days in 2015 so far.

A report by New Jersey Watchdog’s Mark Lagerkvist, in which he refers to Governor Christie as a “virtual phantom in the Garden State” since his presidential campaign began earlier this year, notes that a brief Tuesday speech at a N.J. hospital to draw attention to a drug addiction task force that he launched last year was Christie’s first in-state appearance as governor in 51 days.

Though NJTV News characterized Christie’s appearance on Tuesday in the above-embedded video as about “drug addiction and not about presidential politics,” Christie’s speech touted his record on drug treatment and included some of the same rhetoric that he used during an exchange with Senator Paul, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina about drug addiction at last week’s CNN Republican presidential debate.

I often tease some of my friends in the Republican party who join me as being someone who believes in life and being pro-life, first of all you got to be pro-life for longer than just when they’re in the womb… And we have to be pro-life for the folks, like the 16-year-old drug addict laying on the floor of the county lock up,” said Christie at Tuesday’s speech.

NJTV News pointed out that Christie “was in a big hurry, as he did not answer any questions on his way in and out of [Tuesday’s] event.

During CNN’s September 16 Republican presidential debate, Christie also emphasized his record on drug treatment to defend himself against accusations that he would lock up medical marijuana patients as president. Said Christie at the debate, “New Jersey is the first state in the nation that now says if you are a non-violent, non-dealing drug user that you don’t go to jail for your first offense, you go to mandatory treatment. You see… I’m pro life, and I think you need to be pro life for more than just the time in the womb… when there’s a 16-year-old addict in the floor of the county lock up, that life is just as precious as the life in the womb.

Whether intended or not, Christie’s first appearance in-state as governor in 51 days also helped emphasize a part of his record that he recently injected into his 2016 presidential campaign messaging.

[RELATED: Chris Christie: The U.S. Should Track Immigrants Like FedEx Tracks Packages]

The Star Ledger’s Paul Mulshine wrote, “Whenever the governor is out of state… Kim Guadagno steps up from her post as lieutenant governor to assume the duties. Theoretically she could sign bills, issue executive orders and so on. She doesn’t, of course, but she could do so under our constitution. As of Tuesday, 265 days had passed in 2015. Guadagno held the title of governor for at least part of 141 of them. That’s well more than half. Meanwhile the governor has been governor for only 124 full days so far this year, or about four of nine months.

Mulshine also questioned whether a Christie gaffe at CNN’s Republican presidential debate in which he said “when I was governor” was a “Freudian slip.

Governor Christie, who appointed a new state comptroller on Tuesday, says that he is able to keep up with his duties as governor remotely via internet, email, and telephone.

For more election coverage, click here.

Chris Christie: The U.S. Should Track Immigrants Like FedEx Tracks Packages

During a campaign rally on Saturday, former New Jersey Gov. and GOP Presidential candidate Chris Christie said that if he were elected, he would track immigrants with visas in the United States in the same way that FedEx tracks its packages.

Christie said that he plans on having the founder of FedEx come to work for the government because currently when the U.S. issues visas, “the minute they come in, we lose track of them.”

“I’m going to have Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, come work for the government for three months,” Christie said. “Just come for three months to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and show these people.”

Striving for a system similar to the one used by the independent shipping company, Christie said he used it as an example, because while FedEx can track packages, the U.S. can’t track immigrants.

[pull_quote_center]We need to have a system that tracks you from the moment you come in and then when your time is up, however long your visa is, then we go get you and tap you on the shoulder and say, ‘Excuse me, it’s time to go,'[/pull_quote_center]

[RELATED: Chris Christie Condemns ‘Civil Liberties Extremists’, Argues To Maintain NSA Surveillance In NH Speech]

Along with the topic of immigration, the conversation about “anchor babies” has also been popular among GOP candidates, and Christie referred to it as a “distraction” that reflects poorly on the Republican party.

“The entire conversation about ‘anchor babies’ is a distraction that makes us sound like we’re anti-immigrant, and we’re not,” Christie said. “Our party is not that way. We want people to do it legally. Do it the right way.”

[RELATED: Reality Check: ‘Anchor Babies’ and Trump’s U.S. Citizenship Claims]

Christie’s comments were criticized by immigrant advocates such as Dawn Le, spokeswoman for the Alliance for Citizenship, who told Reuters that she doesn’t see Christies’s proposal as all that different from Donald Trump’s immigration plans.

“Basically, he put a stamp on everyone’s wrist without providing a solution for the people who are here,” Le said. “How is his proposal any different than Donald Trump’s? Would he deport all 11 million people? He didn’t say.”

Christie doubled down on his comments on Sunday, during an interview with Fox News. He insisted that he was not comparing people to packages, and he called any criticism of his prior comments “ridiculous.”

“I don’t mean people are packages, so let’s not be ridiculous,” Christie said. “This is once again a situation where the private sector laps us in the government with the use of technology. We should bring in the folks from FedEx to use the technology to be able to do it. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

For more election coverage, click here.

This story has been updated to clarify the type of immigrant Christie intends to track.

GOP Candidates Blame China, Obama For Stock Market Plunge

As U.S. stocks hit an 18-month low on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down by nearly 600 points, several GOP hopefuls seeking the Presidential nomination in 2016 weighed in on possible reasons for the plunge.

The Dow dropped over 1,000 points within the first few minutes of trading, reminding many of the 1987 U.S. stock market crash referred to as “Black Monday.” In response, 13.9 billion shares changed hands on Monday, marking the largest volume since 2011.

[RELATED: Dow Plunges 1,000 Points]

The Wall Street Journal noted that some traders blamed the major drop on “big investors scrambling for ways to protect themselves against losses outside the U.S.,” and that the decline “triggered so-called stop-loss orders, which are designed to protect investors by instigating a sale once a stock falls to a certain level.”

Some GOP candidates including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker blamed the plunge on China. Walker released a statement blaming China’s “slowing economy,” and saying that he thinks President Obama should cancel his upcoming state visit, because Americans “need see some backbone from President Obama on U.S.-China relations.”

“Americans are struggling to cope with the fall in today’s markets driven in part by China’s slowing economy and the fact that they actively manipulate their economy,” Walker said. “Rather than honoring Chinese President Xi Jinping with an official state visit next month, President Obama should focus on holding China accountable over its increasing attempts to undermine U.S. interests.”

Former business executive Carly Fiorina told Fox Business that she partially blames the plunge on U.S. relations with China, and she thinks now is the time for the U.S. to “put pressure on China.”

“It’s also true that the Chinese government cut this deal with the Chinese people which is, ‘We’re going to keep this economy growing fast enough to lift millions out of poverty and in return, you’re going to accept censorship, repression and terrible safety standards and pollution,” Fiorina said.

Fiorina also noted that “I don’t think there was any excuse frankly for QE2 or QE3. QE1 you can see. Obviously we’re in the middle of a crisis, but my own view is that we have politicized the Fed by giving it a duel mandate, full employment as well as inflation.”

Billionaire mogul Donald Trump told Bill O’Reilly that he blames the plunge in stocks on the U.S. tying itself “so closely to Asia and in particular to China that this is going to be trouble for our country.”

“Not only now have they taken our jobs, they’ve taken our base, they’ve taken our manufacturing, but now they are pulling us down with them and I said we can’t do this, we can’t allow this to happen,” Trump said. “We have to do a big uncoupling pretty soon before it’s too late.”

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that he blames Obama for the drop, calling it a result of a “history of failed policies by this president.”

“What’s happened is, because this president has run up more debt than any president in American history, that debt has been given to us in large measure by the Chinese,” Christie said. “And so now, as the Chinese markets tend to have a correction, which they’re doing right now, it’s going to have an even greater effect because this president doesn’t know how to say no to spending, doesn’t know how to say no to a bigger and more intrusive government.”

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said that he also blames Obama for the drop, and said that it was a result off “Washington-Wall Street elites” being empowered “at the expense of American workers on Main Street.”

“Sadly, the chickens are now coming home to roost for the Obama administration and its failed economic policies,” Huckabee said. “It’s time to build America’s economy, not China’s or Mexico’s, and quit importing cheap labor & exporting jobs overseas.”

The New York Times reported that the international drop in stocks prices, which began in China, left many investors wondering “how much government officials can and will do to insulate the global economy from the turmoil.”

For more election coverage, click here.

Paul, Christie Clash Over NSA Spying at GOP Debate

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie got into a heated and emotional exchange over the National Security Agency’s illegal and unpopular bulk phone records spying program at the first Republican presidential primary debate of the 2016 campaign season on Thursday night.

[RELATED: Chris Christie: Blame Rand Paul For Next Terror Attack]

During the Fox News GOP debate, moderator Megyn Kelly asked Chris Christie, “Governor Christie. You’ve said that Senator Paul’s opposition to the NSA’s collection of phone records has made the United States weaker and more vulnerable, even going so far as to say that he should be called before Congress to answer for it if we should be hit by another terrorist attack… Do you really believe you can assign blame to Senator Paul just for opposing he bulk collection of people’s phone records in the event of a terrorist attack?

Christie, a former federal prosecutor, doubled down on his position. “Yes, I do. And I’ll tell you why: because I’m the only person on this stage who’s actually filed applications under the Patriot Act, who has gone before the federal — the Foreign Intelligence Service court, who has prosecuted and investigated and jailed terrorists in this country after September 11th,” he said.

Christie noted the fact that former President George W. Bush appointed him as a federal prosecutor the day before the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. “This is not theoretical to me. I went to the funerals. We lost friends of ours in the Trade Center that day. My own wife was two blocks from the Trade Center that day, at her office, having gone through it that morning. When you actually have to be responsible for doing this, you can do it, and we did it, for seven years in my office, respecting civil liberties and protecting the homeland. And I will make no apologies, ever, for protecting the lives and the safety of the American people. We have to give more tools to our folks to be able to do that, not fewer, and then trust those people and oversee them to do it the right way. As president, that is exactly what I’ll do,” he added.

Paul seized the opportunity to respond to the criticism and asked Megyn Kelly for a chance to provide a rebuttal. “I want to collect more records from terrorists, but less records from innocent Americans. The Fourth Amendment was what we fought the Revolution over! John Adams said it was the spark that led to our war for independence, and I’m proud of standing for the Bill of Rights, and I will continue to stand for the Bill of Rights,” he replied.

[RELATED: Federal Appeals Court Ruling: NSA Data Collection Is Illegal]

Christie blasted back, “And — and, Megyn? Megyn, that’s a — that, you know, that’s a completely ridiculous answer. ‘I want to collect more records from terrorists, but less records from other people.’ How are you supposed to know [who is a terrorist], Megyn?

Tempers began to flare as the two shouted over each other. Paul yelled, “Use the Fourth Amendment! Get a warrant!

Listen, Senator, you know, when you’re sitting in a subcommittee, just blowing hot air about this, you can say things like that,” quipped Christie.

Paul then accused Christie of misunderstanding the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and angrily referenced a post Hurricane Sandy photo op, which some Republicans felt hurt Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential chances, in which Chris Christie was seen hugging President Obama. “I don’t trust President Obama with our records. I know you gave him a big hug, and if you want to give him a big hug again, go right ahead,” said Paul.

[RELATED: Christie Tells Colo. Pot Smokers to “Enjoy It” Now As He Will Bust Them As President]

Christie retorted, “Senator Paul, you know, the hugs that I remember are the hugs that I gave to the families who lost their people on September 11th. Those are the hugs I remember, and those had nothing to do — and those had nothing to do with politics, unlike what you’re doing by cutting speeches on the floor of the Senate, then putting them on the Internet within half an hour to raise money for your campaign… and while still putting our country at risk.

The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf wrote that the exchange reminded him of Rudy Giuliani’s dust-up with former Congressman Ron Paul during the 2008 Republican presidential debates, “A GOP debate stage hasn’t witnessed such naked exploitation of the emotions surrounding 9/11 since Rudy Giuliani used the same manipulative tactic in 2008. Then, as now, there are plenty of people who stood every bit as close to the Twin Towers as they fell and drew opposite conclusions about how to fight the war on terror. Invoking physical proximity to the attacks is an irrational appeal made to avoid the need for a more substantive analysis.

CNN’s Donna Brazile called Paul and Christie the debate’s “biggest losers” on account of “their bitter clash over NSA surveillance and terrorism” and added that “they offered testosterone with a bit of Tabasco.

During Fox News’ post-debate coverage, anchor Chris Wallace said that he feels that the Christie-Paul exchange hurt Paul, but at the expense of damaging Christie’s 2016 chances.

On the other hand, CNN contributor Buck Sexton said, “The biggest surprise of the night came from Rand Paul, who showed up ready to fight. The usually laid-back libertarian came out fiery, getting into squabbles with Donald Trump and Christie (winning the latter exchange). If nothing else, Senator Paul reminded America that he’s still in this thing in a meaningful way.”

For more 2016 election coverage, click here.

Fox News Announces Candidate Lineup for Aug. 6 GOP Presidential Debate

Fox News has announced the candidates who qualified for its August 6 prime-time Republican presidential primary debate, which is set to kick off at 9 p.m. EST at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Anchors Chris Wallace, Bret Baier, and Megyn Kelly will moderate the televised event. Facebook and the Ohio Republican Party have been tapped as sponsors.

Candidates set to participate in the prime-time debate include billionaire Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Dr. Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Fox News chose to limit its prime-time debate to only 10 participants and selected qualified candidates based on a top 10 average of 5 recent polls by Bloomberg, CBS News, Fox News, Quinnipiac University, and Monmouth University.

However, in response to complaints that serious candidates with low poll numbers are being left out of the top-tier debate, the news network has invited those who did not qualify to appear in a 60-minute junior varsity debate, moderated by Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum, which will appear on Fox News at 5 p.m. on August 6, prior to the prime-time contest. Those who fell short of the top 10 include former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former New York Gov. George Pataki, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. The network’s prime-time debate pre-show coverage will begin immediately after the junior varsity debate.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry responded optimistically to his failure to qualify for the prime-time contest and tweeted, “I look forward to being @FoxNews 5pm debate for what will be a serious exchange of ideas & positive solutions to get America back on track.

However, according to CNN, Matt Beynon, a spokesperson for former Sen. Rick Santorum, called the candidate selection process “incredibly flawed” and said, “While FOX is taking a lot of heat, the [Republican National Committee] deserves as much blame for sanctioning this process. They should not be picking winners and losers. That’s the job of the voters, particularly those in Iowa and New Hampshire who have the role of voting first.

Following Fox News’ announcement, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said, “Our field is the biggest and most diverse of any party in history and I am glad to see that every one of those extremely qualified candidates will have the opportunity to participate on Thursday evening. Republicans across the country will be able to choose which candidate has earned their support after hearing them talk through the issues.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich almost fell short of being chosen for the prime-time debate, which is taking place in his home state. However, his 3% polling average, tying him with Chris Christie for last place among those participating, was just enough to qualify.

For more 2016 election coverage, click here.

14 GOP Presidential Hopefuls to Face Off in Aug. 3 Forum on C-SPAN, Trump Not Attending

The New Hampshire Union Leader has launched a C-SPAN-televised August 3 forum for 2016 Republican presidential candidates, and 14 candidates have confirmed their participation. The question-and-answer style event, which is not an official Republican National Committee-sanctioned presidential debate, will take place at the Dana Center at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. at 7 p.m. EST and is scheduled to run for two hours.

The Voters First Republican Presidential Forum was launched by the New Hampshire Union Leader in response to a rising chorus of complaints over Fox News’ decision to exclude candidates with low poll numbers from its August 6 prime time debate at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

Fox has said it will serve as the first primary and ‘winnow’ the field on Aug. 6. We and our partners think the voters of our states should continue to play that role. Our forum will give voters a chance to see the larger field of candidates and will give the voters a chance to have their issues addressed,” said New Hampshire Union Leader publisher Joseph W. McQuaid.

[RELATED: Fox News Moves Second-Tier GOP Presidential Debate to More Visible Time Slot]

The New Hampshire forum is currently set to feature all of the currently-announced prominent Republican candidates save for two, Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee. Huckabee’s absence from the list of participating candidates was not explained by the Union Leader, so it could be possible that he will confirm his participation at a later time. Candidates set to participate include Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Rick Perry, Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, and George Pataki.

According to the Union Leader, “Candidate Trump bowed out because, an aide said, he was upset with a Union Leader editorial this week that mocked him for saying that U.S. Sen. John McCain was not a war hero. McCain, shot down by the North Vietnamese, suffered years of torture after refusing to be released early because his father was an admiral.

Last Tuesday, billionaire Donald Trump reportedly wrote a letter to McQuaid explaining his refusal to participate, which read, “…knowing you as I do, I feel it is unlikely I will be getting the endorsement from you and the Union Leader. I have made a great fortune based on instinct and that, unfortunately, is my view. Therefore, and for other reasons including the fact that I feel there are too many people onstage to have a proper forum, I will not be attending.

The forum will be moderated by WGIR radio personality Jack Heath. According to the Union Leader, “The Voters First Forum is being co-sponsored by the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Charleston, S.C., Post and Courier, and the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Gazette. Broadcast co-sponsors are iHeart radio, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids; and WLTX-TV in Columbia, S.C. The forum will be broadcast nationally by C-SPAN. New England viewers will be able to watch on NECN. It will be broadcast locally by NH1/WBIN-TV in New Hampshire, as well as by the South Carolina and Iowa stations. It will also air live on NHPR.

Event organizers are asking the public to submit suggestions of issues to discuss at the forum.

For more 2016 election coverage, click here.

Vote in our GOP primary poll below:

Who is your pick for the Republican nominee? in Truth In Media’s Hangs on LockerDome

Christie Tells Colo. Pot Smokers to ‘Enjoy It’ Now As He Will Bust Them As President

New Jersey Republican Governor and former federal prosecutor Chris Christie issued a dire warning to pot users in states that have legalized marijuana while promoting his 2016 presidential campaign at a town hall meeting at Salt Hill Pub in Newport, New Hampshire on Tuesday. “If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it. As of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws,” said Christie.

Christie claimed that he believes that marijuana is a gateway drug that alters the brain and criticized the Obama administration for choosing not to enforce federal marijuana laws in states where it has been legalized. “That’s lawlessness,” he said, according to Bloomberg. “If you want to change the marijuana laws, go ahead and change the national marijuana laws.

Reason notes that 2016 GOP presidential candidates Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Jeb Bush, George Pataki, and Carly Fiorina have all stated that they support the right of states to craft their own policy on marijuana, citing the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Truth in Media’s Annabelle Bamforth reported back in April of this year that Christie had pledged, prior to launching his 2016 campaign, that, if he were to become president, he would enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized it.

Reason’s Jacob Sullum, who called Christie’s pot re-criminalization plan “utterly fantastical,” pointed out some of the difficulties facing the New Jersey Governor if he were to become president and attempt to stamp out growing marijuana industries in pot-legal states. “Three of the four states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use, plus the District of Columbia, allow home cultivation as well as commercial production. A determined prohibitionist in the White House, aided by DEA agents and federal prosecutors, could make life difficult for state-licensed growers and retailers, albeit at the cost of antagonizing political leaders in the states with legal pot (a list that probably will have expanded by the time the next president takes office). Going after thousands of scattered home growers, each of whom is free to share his produce with friends and neighbors, would be considerably harder. The federal government simply does not have the resources for such an eradication campaign,” argued Sullum.

Christie, who currently sits at ninth in the polls among 2016 GOP presidential candidates according to a RealClearPolitics polling average cited by Bloomberg, is fighting to stay in the top 10 ahead of Fox News’ August 6 televised Republican presidential debate in which the top 10 out of 16 candidates according to national polls will be featured in a prime-time showdown at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Those candidates who fail to make the top 10 will be featured in a second-tier debate taking place earlier that day.

For more 2016 election coverage, click here.

Watch the Truth in Media Project’s Consider This video, embedded below, which examines some facts about non-violent inmates serving hard time under the federal War on Drugs.


Chris Christie: Blame Rand Paul For Next Terror Attack

New Jersey Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate Chris Christie appeared on Morning Joe on Monday and said that Americans should blame Senator Rand Paul (R- Ky.) if there is another terrorist attack.

Paul “should be in front of hearings in front of Congress if there’s another attack,” Christie claimed.

“People are really worried about ISIS, they’re worried about the threat of terrorism, and that’s why what Rand Paul has done to make this country weaker and more vulnerable is a terrible thing,” Christie said. “And for him to raise money off of it? It’s disgraceful,” Christie continued.

“As the only guy who used the Patriot Act in this race, as a former prosecutor, we’re going to look back on this, and he should be in front of hearings, in front of Congress, if there’s another attack. Not the director of the FBI or the director of the CIA,” said Christie.

Christie said that in order to defeat ISIS, the U.S. has to “arm our allies, train them, and it’s their fight.”

Sen. Paul has criticized GOP ‘war hawks’ like Christie in the past regarding their strategy of arming and training “moderate” rebels who have ultimately become ISIS fighters.

Watch below via MSNBC:



Chris Christie Enters Presidential Race

By Alex Pappas

With New Jersey’s Bon Jovi blaring over the speakers, Chris Christie on Tuesday became the 14th Republican to join the race for the White House, vowing to fix the dysfunction of Washington D.C.

“If Washington and Jefferson and Adams had believed compromise is a dirty word, we’d still be under the crown of England,” Christie said, offering himself as fixer who will speak bluntly about the country’s problems.

The announcement resembled a town hall, with Christie roaming the stage with a microphone and his family standing behind him.

“Americans are filled with anxiety,” Christie said. “They are filled with anxiety because they look to Washington D.C., and they see a government that not only doesn’t work anymore, it doesn’t even talk to each other anymore. It doesn’t even try to pretend to work anymore.”

Lamented Christie: “We have a president in the Oval Office who ignores the congress and a congress that ignores the president. We need a government in Washington D.C. that remembers you went there to work for us, not the other way around.”

In his announcement at his alma mater Livingston High School, where Christie was class president for three years and graduated in 1980, the New Jersey Republican entered the stage to Bon Jovi’s “We Weren’t Born To Follow.”

“When I decided to make this announcement, there wasn’t any choice,” Christie said. “I had to come home. And Livingston is home for me.”

During his speech, Christie called for reforming entitlements, growing the economy at 4 percent or greater and a foreign policy that projects strength across the world.

“After 7 years of a weak and feckless foreign policy run by Barack Obama, we better not turn it over to his second mate, Hillary Clinton,” Christie said.

“We have to stop worrying about being loved,” he said, “and start caring about being respected again, both at home and around the world.”

“I am not running for president of the United States as a surrogate for being elected prom king of America,” Christie said, part of his “Telling It Like It Is” campaign theme.

“I am not looking to be the most popular guy who looks in your eyes every day and tries to figure out what you want to hear, say it, and then turn around and then doing something else,” Christie promised. “When I stand up on a stage like this in front of all of you, there is one thing you will know for sure. I mean what I say, and I say what I mean, and that’s what America needs right now.”

Christie was re-elected as governor in 2013 with more than 60 percent of the vote and was using that victory to establish himself as a top contender for 2016. But his popularity has taken a hit since then. He enters the race Tuesday not as frontrunner, but as underdog among the many Republicans seeking the same office.

Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, Jeb Bush, Donald Trump and Bobby Jindal are all running for president.

And more are expected: By the end of July, there should be at least 16 Republicans in the race. Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are both expected to announce their entry into the contest.

Christie on Tuesday heads to New Hampshire for a series of town hall meetings. It’s the state Christie has spent the most time in.

But for now, he still has work to do: according to the Real Clear Politics polling average of New Hampshire, he is currently in sixth place with 5.6 percent, behind Bush, Walker, Trump, Paul and Rubio.

Follow Alex on Twitter

Christie Condemns “Civil Liberties Extremists”, Argues To Maintain NSA Surveillance In NH Speech

Portsmouth, NH- Following a recent ruling by an appeals court declaring that the NSA’s bulk collection of American phone records is illegal, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie visited New Hampshire calling to preserve the government’s record collecting practices.

In a foreign policy-centered speech delivered on Monday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Christie criticized military spending cuts and proposed a growth in the United States military, suggesting 500,000 Army soldiers and 185,000 Marines. Christie also called for a larger Air Force and an increased number of Navy ships.

Christie held the Obama administration responsible in his claim that “American power is in retreat” and “no one understands any longer whom America stands with or against.”

In addition to calling for an increased military, Christie was sharp in his criticism of “civil liberties extremists” inspired by Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations:

[quote_center]When Edward Snowden revealed our intelligence secrets to the world in 2013, civil liberties extremists seized that moment to advance their very own narrow agenda.[/quote_center]

Christie declined to expand on what the “narrow agenda” might be.

“They want you to think that there’s a government agent listening in every time you pick up the phone or Skype with your grandkids,” Christie continued. “They want you to think the intelligence community are the bad guys, straight out of the Bourne Identity or some other Hollywood thriller. And they want you to think that if we weakened our capabilities, the rest of the world would somehow love us more.”

“Let’s be clear: all these fears are exaggerated and ridiculous. When it comes to fighting terrorism, our government is not the enemy,” Christie said.

Firm in his belief that NSA surveillance of Americans is a vital tool to catch terrorists, Christie also called for the extension of the Patriot Act and the preservation of provisions that are set to expire on June 1st. Christie said he utilized the Patriot Act “extensively, aggressively and legally as US Attorney,” adding “And I can tell you this: it works.”

Christie’s prepared remarks are available in full here.

Chris Christie Spent $82k On Concessions At NFL Games

By Blake Neff

Chris Christie, New Jersey’s famously hefty governor, spent over $300,000 of his annual state allowance on food and drinks in the past five years, including over $82,000 that was used to buy drinks and snacks at NFL games. However, the governor’s food spending appears to have dropped sharply in a manner that coincides with his own efforts to lose weight.

Christie’s spending was revealed Monday by New Jersey Watchdog, which was investigating how Christie has spent his personal allowance over five years as governor.

On top of the governor’s $175,000 salary, New Jersey law provides the governor with an annual allowance of $95,000 in order to handle expenses such as maintaining the official residence and hosting official state receptions. Christie has on average spent about $72,000 of this allowance each year, for a total tab of $360,000. Of this, 80 percent was spent on food and drink.

However, the most interesting part of Watchdog’s investigation was just how much Christie spent while attending NFL games in 2010 and 2011. As governor, he could typically use a luxury box at MetLife Stadium (where the New York Giants and New York Jets both play) free of charge. Food, however, cost extra, and Christie purchased it in big quantities. In those two years, Christie apparently used his government debit card 58 times to make $82,594 in purchases from Delaware North Sportservice, the concessions operator at MetLife.

According to Watchdog, Christie’s office didn’t submit receipts for any of these purchases, and his office also didn’t describe who was attending the games with the governor or what his business reasons were for meeting with them, raising suspicions that the football games may not have strictly involved state business. Christie’s office told Watchdog the governor did nothing wrong.

“The official nature and business purpose of the event remains the case regardless of whether the event is at the State House, Drumthwacket [the governor’s official residence] or a sporting venue,” Christie press secretary Kevin Roberts told Watchdog in a statement.

Nonetheless, in 2012 New Jersey’s Republican State Committee reimbursed the state for all of Christie’s purchases at MetLife, and the governor hasn’t used his state expense account at the stadium since.

Besides MetLife, much of Christie expense account was used to buy food and beverages at ordinary retail stores: $76,343 at Wegmans, and $18,507 at ShopRite. Another $109,133 was used to hire caterers for events.

Interestingly, Christie’s personal spending on food tracks at times mirrors more public events involving the governor’s girthy frame. In the 38 months before he underwent Lap-Band surgery, Christie was spending about $1,700 a month at supermarkets. In the 26 months after the operation, Christie’s monthly spending has shrunk to $1,200, a drop of over 40 percent.

Follow Blake on Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Chris Christie Promises To “Crack Down” On Legalized Marijuana If Elected President

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has not yet made the decision to run for President, but he recently reiterated his strong opposition to the idea of states legalizing marijuana.

During an interview with Christie on his radio show, Hugh Hewitt asked the Governor if he would enforce federal law on states like Colorado and Washington that allow the recreational use and sale of marijuana.

“You were a United States prosecutor for a long time,” Hewitt said. “Right now we’ve got the states of Colorado and Washington flaunting federal law by allowing people to sell dope legally. If you’re the President of the United States, are you going to enforce the federal drug laws in those states?” Christie quickly replied:

“Absolutely, I will crack down and not permit it.”

“Marijuana is a gateway drug,” Christie continued. “Um, we have an enormous addiction problem in this country, and we need to send very clear leadership from the White House on down to federal law enforcement. Marijuana is an illegal drug under federal law, and the states should not be permitted to sell it and profit from it.”

Christie’s position on marijuana is not a surprise; last June, he was asked by New Hampshire state representative candidate Brinck Slattery how he would treat states that have legalized medical marijuana. Christie answered “probably not well.” Christie also called New Jersey’s medical marijuana program and other medical marijuana programs a “fallacy” and a “front” for full legalization.

Christie’s Cronyism? NJ Governor Gave Sweetheart Deal to Firm Owned by Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones

Dallas Cowboys fan and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was seen in sports news highlight reels hugging and celebrating in a luxury box with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones last Sunday as the Texas team defeated the Detroit Lions in the first round of the NFL playoffs. Jones has been treating Christie as his personal good luck charm, flying the governor down to experience a Cowboys playoff game on Jones’ dime, and has even suggested that, if his team keeps winning, he might endorse Christie for president in 2016.

However, Chris Christie, who snubbed his own state’s football teams in order to continue rooting for his childhood favorite, is facing new corruption allegations over his lucrative friendship with Jerry Jones. The rumored 2016 presidential candidate’s reputation recently took a hit when he was accused of closing lanes on the George Washington bridge to create traffic problems in an alleged attempt to punish a political rival. Now, according to International Business Times, Governor Christie is facing additional allegations that, two years ago, he personally pushed for a firm owned by Jerry Jones to receive a lucrative Port Authority contract.

Democratic New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the lawmaker who first investigated the George Washington bridge scandal, is considering launching an additional investigation into Christie’s relationship with Jones. Wisniewski told ABC News, “The governor of the state of New Jersey should be above being influenced by that type of gratuity: air fare for his entire family and self and tickets to a game… It certainly looks really bad…. I’m not going to argue the fact that the rules he is obliged to follow may in fact create a personal exception, but what I will argue is he should not have availed himself of that because it looks bad. It set a bad precedent.”

Chris Christie’s office claims that, though his state’s ethics rules bar officials from accepting gifts from persons or organizations receiving contracts from the state, an executive order exempts gifts from personal friends of the governor from that ban. Christie argues that Jones is a personal friend and, as such, it is legal for the two to exchange gifts. Wisniewski said of the exemption, “They are friends because he happens to be the governor and therein lies the problem.”

In April of 2013, Christie and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed off on a deal between Jones’ firm Legends Hospitality LLC and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, granting the company a lucrative contract to run an observation deck at the top of One World Trade. The Washington Post notes that the deal is expected to earn the Port Authority $875 million over 15 years. Legends Hospitality LLC is co-owned by the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, and Checketts Partners Investment Fund. Chris Christie also gave $18 million in taxpayer-funded subsidies to the National Football League prior to receiving the free airfare and playoff tickets.

In an effort to estimate the value of Jones’ gift to Christie, USC Marshall Sports Business Institute executive director David M. Carter told NJ.com, “For games such as Sunday’s, and extending further into the playoffs, the value of any suite ticket could easily be deemed priceless by many fans for whom that game day experience would likely be a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Top Google Searched Politicians Of 2014

Obama tops the list of the most Google searched politicians in 2014. Republicans took the majority of the spots with 6 of the 10 being Republican. One major politician missing from the list: Hillary Clinton. Is Senator Elizabeth Warren stealing Hillary’s spotlight, or is Senator Warren a flash in the pan?

Who would you like to have seen in the top 10?

Christie’s “Bridgegate” Investigation Cost NJ Taxpayers Over $6 Million

Documents released last week showed the law firm that represented New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) and investigated his involvement with the George Washington Bridge scandal has billed the state of New Jersey $6.5 million.

The state of New Jersey released invoices from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, the firm hired by Christie, for $3.25 million for the months of January and February 2014, $2.49 million for the month of March, and $771,000 for the month of April. The state also released invoices charging $670,000 from law firms representing state employees who had been subpoenaed regarding the GWB scandal investigation. The invoices will be paid by taxpayers.

In March, Gibson Dunn released a 360-page report that cleared Christie of wrongdoing relating to the bridge lane closures. The report stated that the lane closures on the bridge were planned to target a local mayor, but evidence couldn’t be found that Christie was directly involved.

“We found that Gov. Christie had no knowledge beforehand of this George Washington Bridge realignment idea,” said lead investigator Randy Mastro, who released the report, in March.

Gibson Dunn had donated $10,000 to the Republican Governors Association, an organization chaired by Christie, nine days before the firm absolved Christie of wrongdoing in its report.

The report pointed to former Christie aide Bridget Kelly and senior official of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey David Wildstein as the culprits. Kelly had sent an email to Wildstein that stated “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” in reference to the lane closures, to which Wildstein had replied “got it“. Kelly was fired in January, and Wildstein retired in December 2013.

The report from Gibson Dunn invoked criticism from many, including John Wisniewski, who was the co-chair of a legislative committee also investigating the lane closures. Wisniewski pointed out that three people were never interviewed by the firm, including Kelly, Wildstein, and former Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien. The three had all declined interviews.

“If we don’t hear from the person who put the lane closures into motion, Bridget Kelly, who we know sent the email ‘Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee’ … if we don’t know why she sent that email, if we don’t know who gave her the authority to send that email, if we don’t know what she thought she may be accomplishing by sending that email, then we can’t have a complete picture of what happened here,” said Wisniewski.

Federal investigations of the GWB scandal, including one conducted by a special state legislative committee and two by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, are still ongoing. Paul Fishman, New Jersey’s US Attorney, said last month that he’s unsure of how long it will take to complete the investigations. “Thorough, complete investigations take time. They have to be done right. They have to be done thoroughly and that’s all I’ll say about that,” he said.

Zogby: Rand Paul Takes Dramatic Lead in New 2016 GOP Presidential Poll

John Zogby, namesake and founder of Zogby Analytics’ famous poll, recently penned an article in Forbes discussing the findings of his latest 2016 presidential primary survey. In it, he noted that clear front-runners were beginning to appear in both the Democratic and Republican primary races. According to the poll, Hillary Clinton is, as expected, in cruise control over potential Democratic rivals, holding the support of 52% of those polled, with next-in-line Joe Biden in second place with only 8% support. On the GOP side, however, the results are uniquely consequential, as Rand Paul has broken out of the pack and taken a clear lead over other potential 2016 Republican contenders.

The GOP presidential poll, which was conducted between June 27-29 and included the opinions of 282 likely Republican primary voters, found Rand Paul leading with 20%. Next in line were Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida, both of whom tied for second with 13% support. No other GOP candidate broke single digits. Said John Zogby of the poll, “This is the first time a GOP candidate has reached 20% in a crowded field and the first time a Zogby poll has shown someone emerging a bit from the pack.”

Rand Paul’s success in the poll comes as a surprise considering the fact that other establishment candidates have better name identification levels among the public. Said Zogby, “Unlike typical polls at this early stage, Paul’s lead is not attributable to simple name recognition. He is decidedly less known than Bush, Christie, and Rubio. He may be drawing on his famous father’s support from previous runs – perhaps in the same way early polls in the late 1990s showed George W. Bush leading the field – but Rand Paul is emerging as the frontrunner in this race.”

Zogby also notes that the poll found Senator Paul scoring well in a variety of key sub-groups. He leads over other contenders among moderates, independents, conservatives, and self-identified Republicans. He holds the highest level of support among protestants and born-again evangelicals. He also scored 29% support among men.

In his analysis, Zogby cautioned that the metrics could change considerably, as there are currently no officially-announced candidates, and support levels may change depending on which candidates actually end up running. That said, Paul is emerging as a clear front-runner, and, if he matches his father Ron Paul’s success in terms of fundraising and winning straw polls, Zogby feels that momentum could intensify.

Zogby’s Democratic primary poll also contains some interesting data relevant to the alleged Obama-Clinton feud. Amid rumors that President Barack Obama may be supporting Senator Elizabeth Warren against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race, Zogby found it significant that the hard left-leaning Warren achieved only 7% support in the Democratic version of the poll, which measured the preferences of 612 likely Democratic primary voters. Said Zogby of the dynamic, “Perhaps most telling from the Democratic poll is that Sen. Warren is well behind among self-described liberals.”

It appears based on this round of polls that the 2016 presidential race might feature a head-to-head match-up between Senator Rand Paul and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Chris Christie To Campaign For NSA Contractor Havenstein

Concord, NH- Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey plagued with multiple scandals, has made his choice for governor in the upcoming race in New Hampshire: former NSA contractor Walt Havenstein. Christie will be campaigning on behalf of Havenstein later this month.

Christie, a favorite of the GOP establishment, is now famous for “Bridgegate” in which he played a role jamming traffic to the George Washington Bridge in an act of political retribution towards his adversaries. He was involved in an additional scandal in which his administration withheld Hurricane Sandy relief funds and refused to release them until Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer would approve a real estate project from The Rockefeller Group, a real estate developer that has past ties with Christie’s administration.

Most recently it was discovered that one of Christie’s friends and biggest campaign backers, John Hanson, was awarded $106 million in NJ state funding for his nonprofit after Christie signed amendments to various state laws which conveniently made Hanson’s nonprofit qualified for subsidies.

These three examples make very clear that Christie indulges in a great deal of crony capitalism. It’s been speculated that Christie will make a run for President; in the meantime, Christie is lending his influence in New Hampshire by campaigning for Havenstein.

As previously reported, Walt Havenstein is challenging liberty Republican candidate Andrew Hemingway in the upcoming gubernatorial primary. Hemingway is favored in New Hampshire by liberty-minded residents and has publicly criticized the very subject that Havenstein knows quite well: the NSA.

Havenstein is the former CEO of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a large tech company that has been awarded billions of dollars in government contracts. SAIC ranks #4 in companies that have received government contracts. Quite notable is the fact that SAIC was implicated in a spyware hack on security software that also pointed to the NSA.

New Hampshire faces two choices in the Republican gubernatorial primary: Hemingway, who offers an extensive policy to protect New Hampshire residents from the NSA and other forms of government overreach, and Havenstein, a Maryland resident who headed an NSA contracting company and has Governor Christie, a crony capitalist, at his side.

Most recently New Hampshire passed a bill restricting the NSA data collection of its citizens. The bill is waiting Democrat governor Maggie Hassan’s signature.

Follow Annabelle on Facebook and Twitter.