New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had a message Monday for Obama and Congress: “Learn how to walk and chew gum at the same time” instead of throwing up your hands and giving up.
Appearing at the Brookings Institution, Christie spoke about how politicians in Washington, D.C. can learn from him and how he has been able to achieve compromise in New Jersey.
“I can walk and chew gum at the same time. I can fight with Democrats, publicly and privately, over issues of principle where we can’t find compromise, and at the same time, hold conversations with them on issues where we can find common ground and force that,” Christie said. “This illusion that you see in this town — that somehow that can’t happen, it’s not possible — is just an excuse. It’s an excuse of failed leadership by both parties. You have to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.”
“It seems to me the closer we’re getting to the presidential election in 2012 and a gubernatorial election in 2013, the old politics may be creeping back in,” he warned. “That’s when it’s even more important for the executive to fight to continue to find compromise, not to throw up your hands and give up. And I think all too often, executive leadership positions across this country, executives have decided just to throw their hands up and say ‘they’re bad, I can’t deal with them.”
“Then don’t ask for the job. No one ever told you it was going to be pleasant or easy. The job of the executive is to make sure that you get the job done, that you’ve forced people into a room and you find a way to get to compromise.”
Videography by Sarah Hofmann