“I don’t think there’s any risk of me getting to cuddly anytime soon, Laura. The fact is that I am who I am.”
- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie with Laura Ingraham, April 15, 2015
Governor Chris Christie proved that he’s not afraid to take a swipe at Jeb Bush. On Wednesday’s show, Christie was asked how he would deal with the “Bush machine” in the 2016 race. Does he think he can beat the Bushes without some hand-to-hand combat on substantive issues?
Ingraham: How would you deal with the Bush machine in a presidential race?
Christie: I think that you began to see what kind of candidate I would be if I ran by the speech I gave yesterday. You don’t hear anybody else, Laura, talking about entitlement reform despite the fact that it takes up 71% of the federal budget. I mean the fact is that we need to be talking about those things and so, you know, the way you win any race is to be the more credible, more appealing candidate that talks about the issues in a straight and direct way and connects emotionally with the concerns and the aspirations of the people whose vote you’re asking for. And so, regardless of who the main opponent is, whether it’s Jeb Bush or whether it’s Marco Rubio, or whether it’s Rand Paul or Ted Cruz, it’s going to be about our competing visions for the future and whether people believe that we actually have the leadership capability to get it done. And I think that I’ve proven that in a very, very difficult state.
Ingraham: Do you agree with the Bush record? Do you think the Bush approach to foreign policy and domestic policy tracks with your own approach or is it markedly different?
Christie: Well, I’d like to see what Jeb Bush is going to have to say about these things, you know. I mean, he’s certainly got a father and a brother who have a record, and I don’t know what Jeb Bush is going to say about foreign policy. The one speech that he’s given so far I thought was rather general did really give a great insight into what he wanted to do. Let’s see what he’s got to say for himself. In the end, his record and more importantly his vision for what the future is going to determine how credible of a candidate he is. If I decide to run for president, you can conclude that it’s because I believe that I’d be a better candidate for our party and a better president than Jeb Bush or anybody else who decided to run.
Despite giving a major speech in New Hampshire this week on entitlement reform and sharing his vision for the American worker, Christie says there’s no rush to jump in the race at this point. We can expect to hear his decision by late spring or early summer.