Politics

Christie Rips GOP Congress

Suggests he is an outsider, but with government experience 'getting things done'

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday ripped the congressional leaders of his own political party, expressing disillusionment at Republican lawmakers for whom he campaigned.

“Where are they? Where did they disappear to?” the GOP presidential contender said Thursday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.” “They disappeared into the Potomac River, obviously. They care more about getting a good table at a restaurant in D.C. than they care about actually getting things done.”

Christie’s searing criticism seemed a play to try to seize the outsider mantle from those who have perfected the stance — Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

But Christie, who remains near 1 percent in the polls, portrayed himself as an outsider with a twist — one whose time in government shows he can “get something done.”

Supporters of GOP front-runner Trump and other outsiders eventually will seek a candidate with the experience to carry out their desire to shake up the political system, according to Christie.

“But you’re also going to want someone who can actually get something done, who knows how to work and combat these forces” he said. “No one, Laura, who is in this race has been more tested than me in that regard.”

Swatting away speculation about whether Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan will replace outgoing House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Christie declared the next Speaker will not matter until a new president takes office.

“My take is that nobody cares,” he said. “And the reason they don’t care is because this Republican Congress has been so inept at getting anything done that is important to the American people … The American people don’t care about any of these names.

“You could put anybody up there,” he said. “They are not going to take on Barack Obama. They’ve never taken on Barack Obama. And they’re not going to do it now. And the Senate is just as bad.”

“You could put anybody up there,” he said. “They are not going to take on Barack Obama. They’ve never taken on Barack Obama. And they’re not going to do it now. And the Senate is just as bad.”

But wouldn’t it be better to find a speaker with real grassroots conservative appeal, Ingraham asked.

“I have no objection to that,” he said. “My objection is I don’t think it matters … I am sorry, Laura, I am just so skeptical of the members.”

As a former prosecutor, Christie said he is uniquely qualified to make the case against Hillary Clinton during the general election. And he said that this week’s Democratic presidential debate made clear that Clinton will be the opposing candidate in November.

“In my mind, there was no debate,” he said. “There was Hillary Clinton and there was Bernie Sanders performing for the retirement gold watch. And there were three people who were auditioning for sub-Cabinet positions in a Clinton administration.”

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