10 revelations from new Chris Christie biography
A biography of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is about to hit the bookshelves — just as his name continues to get thrown around as potential vice presidential candidate in 2012.
The Daily Caller obtained a copy of the biography — Chris Christie: The Inside Story of His Rise to Power — and has combed through the manuscript. Here are 10 revelations in the book by journalists Bob Ingle and Michael Symons that you may not have known about the New Jersey governor:
Christie in 1993 campaign: ‘we already have too many firearms in our communities’
In 1993, Chris Christie announced he would challenge a veteran Republican lawmaker for a state senate seat — his first foray into politics as a candidate.
The theme Christie chose for his campaign? Criticizing Republicans who wanted to repeal the state’s ban on semi-automatic weapons.
“The issue which has energized me to get into this race is the recent attempt by certain Republican legislators to repeal New Jersey’s ban on assault weapons,” Christie said. “In today’s society, no one needs a semi-automatic assault weapon.”
“We already have too many firearms in our communities,” Christie added.
Christie’s campaign was short lived — he was disqualified from the ballot following confusion over the required signatures he had to present to run.
Christie admitted to donating to Planned Parenthood in 1994
While running to be a Morris County freeholder in 1994, Christie admitted that he donated money to Planned Parenthood.
He made the comments while speaking out against restoring county funding for the organization.
“I support Planned Parenthood privately with my personal contribution and that should be the goal of any such agency, to find private donations,” Christie said, adding: “It’s also no secret that I am pro-choice.”
Christie now identifies as pro-life, saying on Meet the Press in 2011 that, “I am pro-life. I believe in exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. That’s my position. Take it or leave it.”
Christie helped build lobbying firm that represented for-profit college
Christie and lawyer Bill Palatucci launched a lobbying division in 1998 for the Dughi & Hewit law firm, making $1.25 million for the firm in the four years Christie worked there.
“Their biggest client was the University of Phoenix, the for-profit college that at the time was pursuing a New Jersey campus, accounting for roughly 25 percent of their revenues,” the authors write.
George W. Bush gave Christie nickname: “Big Boy”
President George W. Bush gave Christie the nickname “Big Boy” after Christie helped Bush in his first presidential campaign as a state campaign coordinator and fundraiser.
Karl Rove may have helped Christie get appointed U.S. attorney
Christie’s help to Bush during the 2000 campaign later proved worthwhile when Christie was appointed by the president to serve as U.S. Attorney. Christie’s friend Palatucci admits he sent Christie’s resume to Bush adviser Karl Rove.
“He was a really good lawyer and I knew he was a very effective communicator,” Palatucci said.
Though Christie didn’t have criminal law experience, Bush selected Christie. He learned of his appointment the day before the September 11 attacks.
Liberal MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell praised Christie’s work as U.S. attorney
Even liberal MSNBC commentator Lawrence O’Donnell praised Christie’s work as U.S. Attorney after his defense of Sohail Mohammed, a Muslim who was appointed a judge. Christie attacked those who feared Mohammed would follow Sharia law as a judge.
“This Sharia law business is crap. It’s just crazy, and I’m tired of dealing with the crazies,” Christie said.
Christie is bothered by those who say his weight shows he’s undisciplined
“I’m not in denial about it,” Christie said of his weight. “I have a mirror. I get it. I know. But that people draw a line between that and being undisciplined is just one of the most ignorant things that I can imagine, and it’s so completely untrue.”
Christie’s brother, Todd Christie, is a millionaire and campaign liability
As chief executive officer of the Wall Street trading firm Spear, Leeds & Kellogg, Todd Christie became “very wealthy when he made more than $60 million as Goldman Sachs bought Spear Leeds for $6.3 billion in 2000.”
When Christie ran for governor, his opponent tried to make an issue out of his brother’s work because his brother’s firm had been accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of engaging in the illegal practice of “naked short selling” between 1999 and 2003.
Christie has near perfect attendance at Bruce Springsteen concerts
Bruce Springsteen is an avowed liberal, but Christie digs his music.
“Christie is known for his almost perfect attendance at Springsteen concerts, having once even flown to London to see a show,” Ingle and Symons write. “He ordered flags at state buildings to be lowered to half-staff when E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons died in 2011, and he’ll sometimes crank up a Bruce song between meetings at the governor’s office.”
Henry Kissinger was “assertive” in encouraging Christie to run for president
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was among the big names pushing Christie to enter the 2012 presidential contest.
“Henry Kissinger was incredibly—what would the right word be?—encouraging,” Christie said. “Very bold about it and really assertive and had obviously taken the time to think it through. He’s incredibly smart. I posed what I thought were challenges or issues. You know, he’s good. You can see why he’s Henry Kissinger.”