New Jersey Governor Chris Christie joined the Republican race for President on June 30, 2015. He’s been Governor since 2009, a rare Republican in overwhelmingly ‘blue’ New Jersey.
Christie won election, and a second term, by being the kind of politician the people of New Jersey want- someone who’s at the liberal end of the spectrum.
Christie’s had some success on Budget issues. Christie’s said that small cuts to the federal budget aren’t a concern, and cut over a billion from the state budget upon taking office, declaring a fiscal state of emergency. Unfortunately, the state’s bond rating has dropped to the 2nd lowest in the nation, he’s borrowed money from the Turnpike toll account to cover other spending, possibly resulting in a gas tax hike, and he spent over $80,000 in taxpayer funds to entertain guests at sporting events.
Education is probably Christie’s strong point. He backs school choice, supports merit pay for teachers along with vouchers for private schools, and has expanded the number of charter schools. Unfortunately, he’s also backed Common Core standards (possibly changing his mind here).
He campaigned on reducing the power of the state Department of Environmental Protection, arguing it was ‘killing business’, supports nuclear energy in the US, and would work to lift the ban on crude oil exports. Unfortunately, he also would ban new coal fired power plants, backs tax credits for wind energy, and supports the Obama administration’s climate rules.
While he has no Foreign Policy experience, largely due to his position as governor, I can back him in some of what he’s said. He’s come out strongly in support of Israel, & strongly opposes the Iran nuclear deal.
When it comes to Free Markets, Christie’s very weak. While he did propose a regulatory moratorium and a program of eliminating one regulation for each new one during the most recent GOP debate, his history isn’t as good. He provided over $4 billion in corporate tax breaks, gave millions in incentives to a casino which ultimately failed, provided over $100 million in tax breaks to Subaru to move to Camden, and blocked Tesla Motors ‘direct sales’ model in the state.
Typically, Immigration is another weak area for the Governor. On the plus side, he’s said we may need to re-examine the 14th Amendment & the ‘birthright citizenship‘ issue. He’s also suggested we monitor & track immigrants much like FedEx tracks packages. On the other hand, he’s called for ‘fairness’ in treatment of illegals, signed & supported a state ‘Dream’ Act, and appointed a US Senator who’s pro amnesty.
Christie’s track record on the 2nd Amendment is poor, too. While he did veto measures proposed by the state legislature, he’s also claimed the state has a ‘handgun problem‘, and has backed gun control for many years.
And on the economy, I’d give Christie a mixed record. He’s said that unions are a problem in the state, conditionally vetoed an increase in the state minimum wage, vetoed legislation which would ultimately have raised construction costs after Hurricane Sandy and supported some tax reforms. On the other hand, he’s now considering supporting an increase in the federal minimum wage to $10/hour, backs ‘prevailing wage’ laws, and leads a state with high property & income taxes and a struggling economy.
Sorry Gov. Christie. You don’t have my backing for 2016.
As always, I got my information from the Conservative Review website, and their associated links.
Next profile: Marco Rubio