Chris Christie: Pugilistic Prevaricator


Written by Laurie Higgins

Chris Christie (aka the Pot) demonstrates an arrogant, caustic delight in calling kettles black. His most recent demonstrations occurred during the Republican debate in New Hampshire and during an interview Sunday morning with Chris Wallace.

During the debate Christie, with the characteristic brutishness that Christie mistakes for leadership, accused Marco Rubio of basing a criticism of Christie on “incorrect and incomplete information.” Then shortly thereafter, he accused Rubio of “truancy” for not being present for a vote on the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015. What Christie failed to mention is that no senator was present. The bill was passed by unanimous consent, and, therefore, no senator was required to be on the floor for the vote. Does Christie’s incomplete information reflect ignorance, irresponsibility, or a galling lack of ethics?

While accusing Rubio of not fighting harder for immigration reform, Christie offered his modus operandi for achieving success:

[W]hen people wanted to raise taxes in my state and threatened to close down the government, I told them, fine. Close down the government. I’ll get in my car, head to the governor’s mansion, order a pizza, open a beer and watch the Mets. You can call me when the government reopens.

Is this the kind of leadership Republicans want or the country needs? Can you imagine Rubio or any other U.S. senator saying that to congressional opponents? Apparently, Christie thinks that is the kind of attitude and rhetoric needed to be effective in the U.S. Senate.

Christie attacked Rubio for what Christie perceives as a lack of accomplishment, particularly as compared to what he sees as his own unchallengeable record of substantive accomplishments. What Christie didn’t do is articulate what constitutes a legislative accomplishment; whether a legislative accomplishment is different in nature from the accomplishments of the chief executive of a state; and if gubernatorial accomplishments are necessary prerequisites for the presidency.

Moreover, Christie didn’t indict merely Rubio. He implied that senatorial experience in general is no suitable training ground for effective presidential leadership:

When you’re president of the United States, when you’re a governor of a state, the memorized 30-second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn’t solve one problem for one person. They expect you to plow the snow. They expect you to get the schools open. And when the worst natural disaster in your state’s history hits you, they expect you to rebuild their state, which is what I’ve done.

None of that stuff happens on the floor of the United States Senate. It’s a fine job, I’m glad you ran for it, but it does not prepare you for president of the United States.

It’s a good thing James Madison, John Quincy Adams and John F. Kennedy didn’t have Christie around to advise them on their career paths. And who knows what Christie would have thought about Abraham Lincoln’s paltry two years in the House of Representatives.

When Rubio suggested that Christie didn’t want to return to New Jersey after the recent blizzard, Christie scornfully mocked him for thinking he had ESP, but then Christie-the-Clairvoyant revealed that he knows precisely what goes through the mind of every U.S. Senator every morning:

Every morning when a United States senator wakes up, they think about what kind of speech can I give or what kind of bill can I drop? Every morning, when I wake up, I think about what kind of problem do I need to solve for the people who actually elected me.

In Christie’s self-righteous universe, no senators ever wake up thinking about what problems they can solve for their constituents, and no speeches or bills ever reflect efforts to solve problems for constituents.

With astonishing hubris and irony, Christie feigned umbrage about a lie he invented and attributed to Rubio:

The shame is that you would actually criticize somebody for showing up to work, plowing the streets, getting the trains running back on time when you’ve never been responsible for that in your entire life.

It seems to matter not to the cunning Christie that Rubio didn’t criticize Christie for showing up to work, plowing the streets, and getting the trains running back on time. Perhaps Christie has more experience than Rubio at taradiddling.

Christie engaged in his semi-skillful dissembling during a Sunday Morning interview with Chris Wallace who challenged his gubernatorial fiscal record. Christie responded, “I’m not going to let Marco Rubio or anybody else, even you my friend, insult the people that I represent every day.”

When Wallace insisted accurately that he hadn’t insulted the people of New Jersey, Christie persisted in his fallacious accusation:

It’s their state.  It’s not just my state.  It’s their state, like it’s our country.  And I’m not going to allow them to insult the effort of the people of New Jersey.  They’ve done a great job.  I help along as much as I can.

Christie here again employed a straw man fallacy when he misrepresented Wallace’s position and an ad hominem fallacy by attacking both Wallace and Rubio personally for things they didn’t say. Then he rather remarkably threw New Jerseyans under the bus. With uncharacteristic modesty, he claimed that he has helped then as much as he can, but it’s their state, so, I guess, the fiscal failures are ultimately theirs. But he will defend them to the death from that meanie Chris Wallace.

In the midst of his brutish bombast, Christie finally got around to some unvarnished truth-telling. While claiming opposition to “the systematic murder of children in the womb,” he finally came clean:

I believe that if a woman has been raped, that is a birth and a pregnancy that she should be able to terminate.…That woman should not have to deliver that child if they believe that violation is now an act of self-defense by terminating that pregnancy.

There you have it. He believes that the systematic murder of children in the womb should be permissible if the mother believes such a murderous act is “an act of self-defense.” Moral incoherence from the pugilistic prevaricator Chris Christie.

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