Ever since Chris Christie handily won his re-election as governor of blue state New Jersey, he’s faced furious pushback from conservatives who claim he’s “no more conservative than Harry Reid” and do not want to see him anointed as the frontrunner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
What’s the conservative case that he’s really a Democrat? As the New York Times recently summarized:
Some conservatives have already raised questions about his actions on gun control: He vetoed several bills last summer, including one that would ban the .50-caliber Barrett rifle, but has approved others, such as a measure that requires the police to provide the state with more information about guns used in crimes. And while he has made known his opposition to same-sex marriage, he abandoned an appeal of a court decision that legalized it in his state. During his re-election campaign, he also suggested he may support providing in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.
That’s seems pretty weak. Christie is far from the only pro-immigration conservative. He actually vetoed equal marriage rights, his only “sin” is recognizing that he lost in court. And on guns, what he vetoed was actual gun control, while what he signed was merely a law enforcement measure.
Contrast that with Christie’s own words caught on videotape in these six clips, and you be the judge on how conservative Christie is:
“What do we say to those kids [in need]? Don’t change the teaching profession. Don’t change the way I do things, because I don’t want to change. I want more money if I work a longer school day, I want more money if I work a longer school year.”
2. Christie embraces low pay for teachers, dismissing a teacher asking for fair compensation with, “You don’t have do it”
3. Christie calls criticism of his plan to cut teacher health benefits as “the crap I have to hear.”
4. Christie calls President Obama’s investments in high-speed rail and internet access as “the candy of American politics” and mere “niceities”
5. Christie calls criticism of his plan to prohibit retired public employees from being compensated for unused sick days as “a complete pile of garbage”
Note that Christie was caught using fuzzy math to exaggerate the cost of the Democratic alternative to cap the amount of money retirees could get from ununsed sick days.
6. Christie calls legislator an “arrogant SOB” for holding up his tax cuts
Not that tax cuts are the “candy of American politics” or anything.
Note that Demcorats held up the proposal until there was proof that Christie’s revenue predictions were accurate. In fact, revenue did fall short of Christie’s promises and the tax cut was blocked.
What we see is a politician who does not believe in paying public workers what they worth, but instead wants them to work more for less compensation. In other words, he wants government on the cheap.
Furthermore, he has a fundamental disgust for public investments that will modernize our economic foundation, while he eagerly wishes to dispense the “candy” of tax cuts before knowing whether his budget numbers actually add up.
This is the bread-and-butter difference between liberals and conservatives: between active government that invests in people and infrastructure, or cheap government that does as a little as possible.
It’s clear which side Christie has chosen.