Christie to NBC’s David Gregory: ‘I wish you guys were as tough on the president’
On Sunday’s broadcast of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took a jab at moderator David Gregory and the media for being tougher on Mitt Romney than President Barack Obama ahead of this week’s presidential debate.
“David, I wish you guys were just as tough on the president,” Christie said. “The president says he’s going to create a million new manufacturing jobs. He doesn’t say how. He says he’s going to reduce the long-term debt and deficit by $4 trillion. Doesn’t say how he’s going to do it. I mean, let’s be fair here. Gov. Romney has laid out a direction and a vision for the direction of this country. He’s not an accountant. He is not going to go line-by-line — as much as you would like him to do — through the budget. But let’s hold the president to the same standard and criticize him as well, because how does he create a million new manufacturing jobs, David? He hasn’t told anybody the specifics of that. How is he going to reduce $4 trillion in debt? We’re still waiting to hear what he thinks about Simpson-Bowles, which he commissioned. I mean, he’s been the president and hasn’t given us specifics. So, let’s be fair, here.”
Christie acknowledged that the unveiling of the so-called “47 percent” video of Romney speaking at an exclusive fundraiser had done damage to the campaign, but he noted the president himself is no stranger to the occasional verbal miscue.
“Here’s what I know Gov. Romney believes, because I have spoken to him,” Christie said. “He believes that every American has to have skin in the game. He believes that every American wants to be part of a shared sacrifice in order to bring our country and its people another opportunity for greatness. And that’s what he was really talking about. Was that comment inartfully put? Absolutely. I have said it publicly, as has Gov. Romney. But in the end, we certainly don’t want to judge people on one inartful comment. This is the same president who said he campaigned in all 57 states. So, I don’t think we don’t want to say that the president doesn’t know there are 50 states in America, not 57.”
“Every once in a while in a campaign, as a candidate I can tell you, you’re going to say something that comes out of your mouth the wrong way,” Christie continued. “But here’s what he believes: He believes that every American should have the opportunity for greatness. He believes that every American should be part of a shared sacrifice to fix the problems that are besieging our country, that everyone should have skin in that game. I believe the American people will rise to that challenge and elect Mitt Romney because he is the one articulating that challenge, not the happy talk that the president is giving us that things are bumps in the road, things are just small problems. The country knows we have big problems, David, that we’re not confronting. And the president’s happy talk for the next 36 days is not going to anesthetize the American people.”
Follow Jeff on Twitter