Chris Christie's Political Views
Chris Christie Biography
The former governor of New Jersey, Republican Chris Christie was one of many politicians running for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination before he suspended his campaign in February 2016 after poor performances in the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary. A New Jersey native, Christie obtained his law degree from Seton Hall University before going into corporate practice in Cranford, NJ, in the late 1980s. Christie's political career took off when he was named the US Attorney for New Jersey in 2001, a position he held through 2008. Christie was elected Governor in 2010, when he defeated Democrat and sitting governor Jon Corzine as part of a large Republican wave in the 2010 mid-term elections. Christie was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2013 but has faced some controversy over alleged misdoings by his political aides as well as the misuse of relief funds for Hurricane Sandy. This article will attempt to take an unbiased look at how Christie compares to other leading politicians: do his views really differ from Rubio, Trump, Bush, and Cruz?
Christie's Political Views
1. Health Care
Chris Christie is a strong opponent of the health care reform bill passed by Congress and signed by President Obama. In May 2012, Christie vetoed a law passed by the New Jersey state legislature that would create a state insurance exchange, an important requirement of the health care bill that would allow currently uninsured individuals to purchase health care at a rate more similar to that paid by employers that provide health insurance for their employees.
2. Budget Deficits and Taxation
Governor Christie has generally been a strong critic of government spending, declaring a "state of emergency" and cutting over $1 billion from the New Jersey state budget upon taking office in 2010. In the New Jersey state of the state address in January 2012, Christie promised to "reduce income tax rates for each and every New Jerseyan. In every tax bracket. By 10% across the board."
3. The War on Terrorism/Foreign Policy
Christie has not made many public statements about American foreign policy. In a speech in September, 2011, Christie laid out his broad position on America's role in the world in a speech at the Reagan Presidential library, stating "The United States must also become more discriminating in what we try to accomplish abroad. We certainly cannot force others to adopt our principles through coercion. Local realities count; we cannot have forced makeovers of other societies in our image. We need to limit ourselves overseas to what is in our national interest so that we can rebuild the foundations of American power here at home—foundations that need to be rebuilt in part so that we can sustain a leadership role in the world for decades to come." In 2011, when asked if he would pull troops out of Afghanistan if he were president, he said "you know, I wouldn't do it now, but I would be guided by what our military advisers told us to do. But I do think that capturing bin laden and killing Bin Laden was one of the real goals of the original Afghanistan intervention. And I'm not a nation-building kind of guy."
Christie has been a strong critic of government spending on schools and strongly favors the use of school vouchers. In a 2011 speech, Christie stated that "over 100,000 students are trapped in nearly 200 failing schools" and suggested that a solution to this issue would be allowing the greater use of school vouchers and making it easier to set up and create charter schools. Christie has also been a strong supporter of school accountability, including firing teachers who do not meet standards and the closing of schools that consistently fail to graduate students.
5. Infrastructure Development
In 2011, Christie canceled a plan to build a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River to help reduce overcrowding on the rail links between New Jersey and New York, which are among the busiest in the country. The proposed project would have cost between $8 and $ 12 billion, all but $1.25 billion of which would have come from the federal government. according to a 2012 GAO Report on the proposed project. Christie explained the decision as purely financial, stating that "no matter how you look at it," New Jersey would have been responsible for cost overruns, and that he was asked to being hand over a "blank check." Critics have pointed out that Christie ended up spending the money on road funds anyway, and that he missed out on a long-term opportunity to invest in New Jersey by canceling the project and losing the federal funds that could have helped support the tunnel development.
6. Social Issues
Christie is generally conservative on social issues, though less so than some other Republican politicians. On abortion, Christie has described his position as "pro-life, I believe in exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. That's my position, take it or leave it." Christie supports civil unions for same-sex couples but is opposed to gay marriage. In February 2012 Christie vetoed a bill passed by the New jersey legislature that would legalize gay marriage, stating that it was something he believed should be decided via referendum. However, in October 2013, he removed his opposition for the bill, allowing New Jersey to become the 14th state to legalize gay marriage.