New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie responded today to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who recently attacked Christie for remaining at Disney World with his family during last month’s massive snowstorm. Giuliani said Christie should have returned last week to his home state.
“In New Jersey nobody said the job wasn’t done. In fact, in New Jersey the job was done and done well. It was done well because we put a good group on the ground and I understand this perception thing. I get it and I’ve listened to everybody,” Christie said on MSNBC’s Wednesday broadcast of “Morning Joe.”
“And listen — Rudy is wrong on this one. I like Rudy a lot, too. But it’s easy to sit in the peanut gallery and shoot away, which is what Rudy is doing. I guess when you’re retired and out of politics, it’s easy to come on these shows and shoot away.”
“Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski objected to Christie’s defiant response, pointing out that New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno was not in-state either. But, Christie explained Guadango was on a cruise with her father who has terminal cancer and suggested that could be their last Christmas together. However, he said if his presence has been required, he would have remained.
“Listen Mika, I’m not going to turn into some automaton politician who says, ‘We must do it this way because we will get criticized if we don’t,’” Christie said. “I have a heart and my heart told me to say yes to her and I made a promise to my kids and I’m not breaking my promise to my kids. If I thought New Jersey couldn’t respond without me sitting at my desk, I wouldn’t have gone. But I had a great group of executives around. We did the job the right way and you didn’t hear any of the criticism in New Jersey that you heard in New York about the streets not being cleaned.”
For those reasons, Christie explained he wasn’t going to bow to political correctness, and specifically that of Giuliani.
“So now all we’re talking about is people’s perception,” he continued. “The job got done, so I’ll live with people’s perception. And I understand that people are critical of it but I’m not going to bow to the political correctness of Rudy Giuliani. ‘Oh he’s got to be here because people expect him to be here.’ Well you know, the mayor with all due respect is wrong. I’m committed to my family. I’m committed to my kids, my promise. I made my wife a promise and I was not going to go back on that, unless I thought that my absence was going to make a substantive difference. We had a plan that was in place for four days. We executed that plan very well and we got the job done. That’s what people pay me for. They don’t pay me to showboat on the back of a snowplow. They pay me to get the job done and that’s what I did.”