Days before the second Republican presidential debate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday identified his No. 1 target as Jeb Bush, but went hard after fellow governor John Kasich over Planned Parenthood funding.
Appearing on “The Laura Ingraham Show,” Christie criticized recent comments by the Ohio governor that there are better ways to deal with the abortion provider than to force a government shutdown over federal funding. While Kasich agrees with cutting off federal funds, he said Republicans would lose a shutdown fight, and should avoid a confrontation.
“It sounds like somebody who used to serve in Congress,” Christie said. “It’s time to get it done. It’s abhorrent that Planned Parenthood is being funded. It hasn’t been funded in New Jersey for six years, because I stood up and said, ‘Absolutely not’ and made sure that I sustained any type of override of the vetoes and everything else.”
“It sounds like my friend John reverted back to his 18 years in Congress rather than his four years as governor of Ohio,” said Christie.
“So unfortunately, I think that sounds like Washington insider-speak, and it sounds like my friend John reverted back to his 18 years in Congress rather than his four years as governor of Ohio,” Christie continued.
Christie said Planned Parenthood, caught in a series of undercover videos this summer depicting its executives discussing harvesting fetal organs for financial compensation, is “completely a winning issue” for Republicans. If the GOP cannot successfully defund the organization, “then we don’t have any right calling ourselves a pro-life party.”
Christie said he would emerge at Wednesday’s CNN GOP debate in California by being himself and talking about things that people are concerned about. Christie reiterated his view that the Republican-controlled Congress has failed.
“We have every right to be angry and disappointed at this Republican Congress,” he said. “And that’s what Republicans are really upset about. They vote for these folks; they don’t do what they say they’ll do.”
In a crowded Republican field, the former federal prosecutor has tried to carve out a niche for himself as the law-and-order candidate, a theme he returned to Monday. Whether it is a failure to enforce immigration or turning a blind eye to crime, Christie said Americans see lawlessness from their government.
“They’re going to know the game is over,” Christie said. “The gig is up here with all these Washington establishment insiders getting their way.”
“They want law-and-order restored in this country, and the best way to do that is to actually hire a president who has enforced the law for his career. That’s what I did for seven years as U.S. attorney,” he said. “I’m going to back up our police officers who are being executed on the street. I’m gonna call out the liberal Democratic mayors like (New York Mayor) Bill de Blasio and others who are allowing mayhem to reign on the streets in their cities.”
Christie noted that homicides and shootings are both up in New York. He tied the law-and-order issue to the highly unpopular Washington establishment. He said people will see a different if he is elected
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“They’re going to know the game is over,” he said. “The gig is up here with all these Washington establishment insiders getting their way. We’re going to put the people of this country and their concerns back at the forefront.”