Chris Christie

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Christie makes good traffic jams.
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He signs this amazingly specific executive order allowing one man — the governor of New Jersey — who he himself, through no fault of his own, happens to be. It allows that one person to get luxury trips through foreign governments that he again, surprisingly, in the days after becomes the recipient of. This man is so lucky, he should play the lottery — after signing an executive order saying 'the governor of New Jersey automatically wins the lottery'.
—Jon Stewart[1]

Christopher James "Chris" "Lock Her Up!" Christie (b. 1962) is the current Republican Governor of New Jersey. C.C. attended college at the University of Delaware and Seton Hall University School of Law before becoming a partner in a law firm.[2] In 2002, Christie was appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey by George W. Bush, where he earned a reputation for cracking down on corruption, and later went on to be elected governor of the state in 2009.[2]

Long story short, the state's two previous Democratic governors, Jim McGreevey and Jon Corzine[3], were corrupt slug monsters. McGreevey, elected in 2001, resigned in 2004 when it came out that he had appointed his extramarital lover as homeland security adviser despite a lack of qualifications (the fact that said lover was another man, making McGreevey the first openly gay governor of a US state after he was outed, only made him that much more of a laughingstock), while Corzine was a former Goldman Sachs CEO, which basically says it all. Christie rode into office as a reformer who would fight entrenched corruption — and even then, he only got in with 48.5% of the vote, beating Corzine by less than four points while 5.8% of voters, disgruntled with both their choices, voted for the independent candidate Chris Daggett. When re-election came in 2013, Christie was riding high on that Hurricane Sandy wave and Barbara Buono seemed like she was running because somebody had to. The Democrats in this state just don't even bother.

Even if the state didn't have term limits, he'd have to move out of New Jersey if he wanted to win any more elections, due to his rock-bottom approval ratings. (For the bridge thing and also because he's a Dallas Cowboys fan. No joke.)

It's a solid trend in NJ: love them at first, then realize why you hate them. Hmm, guess Gotham really is based on New Jersey.

Positions[edit]

The bad[edit]

Christie privatized water in New Jersey, thereby giving enormous amounts of dollar-dollar-bills-yo to private water companies, and depriving entire communities of a human right.[4] This is as clear as any window we can give you to show exactly who Christie cares more about, and it's certainly not the people of New Jersey.

Christie is pro-life and believes marriage should only be between one man and one woman,[5] vetoing a New Jersey same-sex marriage bill using the "public referendum" canard.[6] The state courts were in a wrestling match with him on this and he eventually had the decency to end his appeal.[7]

Like Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Christie believes that the way to improve public services, particularly education, is to smash the (already nearly dead) public sector unions. In this, he has an unusual ally — Stephen Sweeney, the Democratic leader of the state Senate and the head of a local ironworkers' union. So much for labor solidarity. He's also a fan of completely destroying working families' chances at having a decent living. [8]

He supports lowering taxes farther than the record-low levels that they are now, and raising the retirement age for Social Security.[2] The intent is to help boost job growth, which is working spectacularly well given that New Jersey currently ranks 49th in job creation.

He has staunchly defended the NSA's surveillance of American citizens, invoking 9/11 as his chief argument and claiming that the (civil) libertarianism of Rand Paul et al. was "a very dangerous thought."[9]

In late 2013, a scandal erupted when his appointees to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey got several lanes on the George Washington Bridge shut down, ostensibly to punish the mayor of the town of Fort Lee (the western terminus of the bridge) for not supporting Christie during his re-election campaign.[10] It would be a surprise if Christie wasn't found to be directly involved with the closures, as he is known to be quite the hands-on govenor.[11]

He rewards his donors with blood-soaked 9/11 rubble.[12] He (along with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo) also tried cashing in on the Ebola scare by quarantining a virus-free Doctors Without Borders nurse.[13] He also wants to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, to help his rich donors.

The economy of New Jersey has, to put it bluntly, sucked under his tenure. While most of the country, including neighboring New York and Pennsylvania, has recovered all the jobs lost during the recession and then some, New Jersey lags far behind, still having yet to recover two-thirds of the jobs lost. The unemployment rate remains a full point-and-a-tenth higher than the national average at 6.5%, despite having been at or slightly below the national average before the Great Recession, and New Jersey has been one of only a few states to see poverty rates consistently go up. The state also sits under a massive debt burden, with the second-lowest state credit rating in the country, behind only Illinois.[14] To be fair, Christie inherited many of these problems; both manufacturing and the pharmaceutical industry (a major employer in the state) had been hit by outsourcing, R&D (another major employer) had been declining in American business for decades, and the woes of near-bankrupt Atlantic City can be attributed mainly to competition from new casinos in the Northeast. However, his policies have also done little to fix them, focusing on austerity in an attempt to close the state's yawning budget gap as opposed to economic recovery.[15]

The so-so[edit]

Christie's environmental record is mixed. On one hand, he tried to weaken the state's Department of Environmental Protection on the grounds that it was killing businesses, and withdrew the state from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).[16] On the other, he believes in green, renewable energy instead of offshore drilling, supporting tax credits for offshore wind farms and allowing the construction of solar arrays on farmland.[2] Yes, a Republican who believes believed in global warming, as hard as that may be to believe.[17] After he entered the 2016 Presidential Race, he said that "I didn’t say I was relying on any scientists. I don’t see evidence that it’s a crisis."[18]

His drug policy is also a mixed bag. While he opposes medical marijuana and the liberalization of drug laws, he does support sending non-violent offenders to rehab rather than prison.

The good[edit]

Despite being a Republican, Christie isn't disturbed by others' religions and has thus earned respect from some liberals.[19]

Christie, as a New Jerseyan and a half-Italian American, has trashed the makers of Jersey Shore and blocked them from receiving $420,000 worth of tax credits to film in the state,[20] meaning that all production costs now have to come out of MTV's pocket. Sure, this may be keeping jobs out of the state, but do you really want to have anything associated with Jersey Shore on your resumé?

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy destroying the Jersey Shore, Christie came down from Bullshit Mountain put partisan politics aside and praised Barack Obama's handling of the recovery (on Fox News, no less), to the point where some felt that he was throwing Romney, who he had previously endorsed, under the bus.[21][22] He has now been effectively declared a RINO.[23]

While he opposes gay marriage (and even then, as previously mentioned, not enough to oppose a court ruling legalizing it in the state[24]), he otherwise has a decent track record on gay rights, including supporting civil unions and making New Jersey the second state (after California) to outlaw the use of reparative therapy on minors.[25] He's also against businesses discriminating against LGBT people.[26]

Christie was also one of only a handful of Republican governors to opt in to the Medicaid provisions in the Affordable Care Act.[27]

In November 2015 his failing 2016 Presidential Run got a bit of traction when he gave some surprisingly enlightened views of addiction, saying that it's hypocritical to be "Pro-Life" and deny addicts treatment. [28]

In summary[edit]

Governor Christie is an East Coast "big city" conservative cut from the same cloth as Rudy Giuliani and Ed Koch — big on national security and economic issues, but moderate-to-liberal on social issues and the environment. During most of his time as a Governor, Christie was seen as a sane Republican, in that he probably would be forced to take more moderate positions if it meant staying in power. He's also not nearly as confrontational as the Tea Party right, despite his reputation for being a boisterous, hot-headed "Jersey bully."

However, he is not a moderate Republican by any means, let alone a RINO (despite the cries of the far-right). Christie is an anti-vaxxer, opposed to marriage equality, wants to abolish Medicaid for the poor, wants to cut Social Security benefits to seniors, supports raising the Medicare retirement age to 69, doesn't see water as a basic human right, wants to escalate the War on Drugs by cracking down on even legal pot, and gleefully tramples on workers' rights while eradicating their environment and contributing mightily to climate change. He may be sane, in that he's not completely opposed to cooperation with Democrats, but he's as extreme as any pro-corporate, pro-Wall Street plutocrat can be.

Presidential run and fallout[edit]

See the main article on this topic: 2016 Republican Party presidential nomination

Many Republicans hoped to see the moderate, straight-talking Christie run for their party's nomination for the 2012 election, but he said no, thereby laying the groundwork for a 2016 run. (Politics.) He endorsed Mitt Romney for President, and gave the keynote speech at the Republican National Convention. The speech turned out to be a plug for himself, somehow.

Ironically, Trump gave $250,000 to the Republican Governors Association when Christie was chairman in 2014.

Do you want fries with that?[edit]

Christie, muddy but unbowed from the bridge scandal, announced his intent to run for President. It was bad enough that donors were openly hedging their bets.[29]

He severely underestimated how much his "bipartisan-moderate" shtick had hurt him in the 3-4 years that followed. So he over-compensated with his hatred for Obama and Hillary, and ultimately turned off all the moderates (who previously liked him) without gaining any support from his own party. He'll always be the hot-shot east coast governor who hugged Obama right before that election. By the end, Christie knew his ship was sinking, so he picked one of his opponents (Rubio) and ordered RAMMING SPEED!

Christie eventually dropped out and endorsed Donald Trump. Trump's grandfather-in-law, Marc Kushner, was prosecuted by Christie in 2005, resulting in something like a "family feud." At one point, Trump seriously considered naming Christie for his vice-president, but by March 2016, relations had frozen over to the point where Trump humiliated him every chance he got. Christie was forced to skip the funeral of a NJ state trooper who was killed in the line of duty to go campaign with Trump.[30] This is the icing on the cake for all the other problems Christie has to deal with back home. In effect, Trump had become his political life-line. The sickening thing is that Trump completely cut him off at the knees and chose another VP, and there was nothing Christie could do about it.

There was even a (scurrilous) rumor that Trump assigned Christie to go fetch McDonald's for him. These are the kinds of promises Trump knows how to deliver on: finding the best man for the job at hand, and putting that man to work.

How about Secretary of Transportation?[edit]

Christie's approval rating is at record lows after the endorsement, so barring a huge upset in the general election this is the end of the line for him.[31] And yes, appreciate the dark comedy that Giuliani and Christie, who each had the highest visibility of any Trumpkin, were both passed over for cabinet positions.

External links[edit]

Videos[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/06/jon-stewart-chris-christie_n_6628364.html
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 State of New Jersey: Governor Christie
  3. Not counting Richard "who?" Codey, the State Senate President who finished out the remaining fourteen months of McGreevey's term following his resignation.
  4. http://www.ifyouonlynews.com/environment/chris-christie-quietly-signs-water-privatization-law-to-benefit-his-donors-media-ignores-it/
  5. On the Issues: Chris Christie
  6. N.J. governor vetoes same-sex marriage bill, CNN
  7. As Gays Wed in New Jersey, Christie Ends Court Fight, The New York Times
  8. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bailey-childers/5-things-to-know-about-chris-christies-record_b_7699182.html?utm_hp_ref=business&ir=Business
  9. NJ Gov. Chris Christie: Opposing NSA Surveillance Is A 'Strain Of Very Dangerous Thought'
  10. See the Wikipedia article on Fort Lee lane closure scandal.
  11. For Christie, Politics Team Kept a Focus on Two Races, The New York Times
  12. Christie Turned Twin Towers Wreckage Into “Politically Motivated Gifts”, Phillymag
  13. Chris Christie's Ebola Blunder, New York Magazine
  14. Long, Heather. "Chris Christie's problem: New Jersey's ho-hum economy." CNN Money, 30 June 2015 (recovered 30 June 2015).
  15. Hennelly, Robert. "Chris Christie's Jersey nightmare: Why his state hasn't touched the economic recovery." Salon, 13 January 2015 (recovered 30 June 2015).
  16. A program among all the Northeastern states (except Pennsylvania and, now, NJ) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a cap and trade program. Pennsylvania acted as an observer, as did the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. More information hereWikipedia's W.svg
  17. Where the 2016 GOP contenders stand on climate change, Washington Post
  18. Christie Says He’s Not ‘Relying On Any Scientists’ To Inform Climate Change Views by Emily Atkin (Dec 1, 2015 3:50 pm) Think Progress.
  19. Christie on appointing a Muslim to a superior court. (Don't read the comments section if you want to maintain your faith in humanity.)
  20. Governor vetoes tax break for 'Jersey Shore', Reuters
  21. "Hurricane Sandy: Is Chris Christie Throwing Romney Under the Bus?", Yahoo! News
  22. Romney Has a Christie Problem and a FEMA Problem, The New Yorker
  23. Murdoch calls the whambulance
  24. Chris Christie gay marriage move stirs GOP, Associated Press
  25. Chris Christie signs ban on gay conversion therapy, The Huffington Post
  26. "Chris Christie: 'Businesses Should Not be Allowed to Discriminate'”, Human Rights Campaign
  27. Christie: 'Proud' of expanding Medicaid but costs need better management, The Star-Ledger
  28. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iB4WiCh8Y4
  29. Wall Street Plays 2016 Dating Game as Christie Stumbles, Bloomberg.
  30. "Chris Christie Addresses Criticism for Missing a State Trooper’s Funeral", NYT (via Associated Press) 3.15.16.
  31. Alexandra Petri (2 March 2016), "Chris Christie's wordless screaming", The Washington Post, retrieved on 2016-03-04. Petri: "His were the eyes of a man who has gazed into the abyss, and the abyss gazed back, and then he endorsed the abyss."
United States 2016 presidential election articles on RationalWiki
Topics: Affordable Care Act - Citizens United v. FEC - DAESH - Gun control - Illegal immigration - Koch Industries - United States Electoral College - Trump's Wall
Parties: Democratic Party (primaries) - Green Party - Libertarian Party - Republican Party (primaries Convention Tea Party)
Candidates: Bush (R) - Carson (R) - Christie (R) - Clinton (D) - Cruz (R) - Huckabee (R) - Jindal (R) - Johnson (Lib) - Kasich (R) - Paul (R) - Perry (R) - Sanders (D) - Stein (Green) - Trump (R) - Walker (R) - Webb (D) Running mates: Kaine (D) - Pence (R)
Winner: Donald Trump