POLITICS & GOVERNMENT

Christie defends president, family on radio show

BY David Cruz, Senior Correspondent |

For a guy who supposedly turned down several job offers and has endured his share of slights from the Oval Office, Gov. Chris Christie remains one of the administration’s chief defenders, whether he likes it or not.

Sometimes he seems to enjoy it, other times not so much. On his monthly radio call-in show this week, the governor found himself in the familiar position of trying to rationalize the president’s sometimes less than rational Twitter fits.

On the president bashing Attorney General Jeff Sessions: “Listen, it wouldn’t be my style to do that. I don’t think I’ve ever done that with a cabinet member, but this is the president,” he said. “The president is unhappy, disappointed I think is his word, with the attorney general and he’s letting everybody know it. The reaction is interesting because I can understand why some people object to what he’s doing. But I also find it interesting because people always say they want to know what we’re really thinking all the time, ‘Oh, politicians always give us political speak and they don’t really say exactly what they mean.’ Well, they certainly can’t say this about this guy.”

On this series of “out of the blue” tweets from the president on transgender people in the military:

“What I’ll say about that is that, as you know, I signed a couple of bills last week regarding protecting the rights of folks who are transgender, and so I think my actions speak louder than any words I could add,” he said.

When asked if he ever wants to get on a train and head to D.C. and straighten things out, he said:

“No, that’s something that you only consider doing if the president asks you to do it, so, no,” he said. “My frustration, which I’ve expressed before, is that they put themselves before the president. And to me that’s completely unacceptable, both for him personally and for us as a country. And I still see that going on.”

But the governor says he’s not expecting an SOS from the president and that he’s got his own work stuff to worry about and plan for, including what to do for work after his current gig expires in a few months. But aside from the occasional announcement and freewheeling press conferences, the governor is fading slowly from the scene. By the time the fall rolls around, Kim Guadagno and Phil Murphy will occupy the main stage, meaning the final, most memorable image of Christie could be the beach day that launched a thousand memes, and hurt his family, personally.

“That incident was the most hurtful incident to my children in the eight years,” Christie admitted. “When they saw the criticism they blamed themselves. They came to me and said it was our fault, we should’ve just come to you and told you that we would just tell our friends to go away. And I told them ‘no’ this was my decision.”

The governor knows how to elicit sympathy, but then he can turn around and cause political mischief like upstaging his lieutenant governor’s pick. It’s just the Christie way. It used to work all the time, but at sixteen percent popularity, the lift is getting heavier by the day.