Christie: Cruz Weak on National Security
Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie on Tuesday suggested Senator Ted Cruz made America weak by supporting the bill to end the NSA’s phone records program, as well as voting in 2013 against authorizing force in Syria.
In an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program from Concord, NH, Christie argued that in the face of national security challenges, the United States cannot afford another four or eight years of a “new” president who lacks the experience in governing and tackling national security challenges.
Christie name-checked the two insurgent candidates, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, “who have no experience in governing.”
Asked by host Joe Scarborough, if Cruz had made America less safe, Christie said, “Sure he has. He went for the easy political vote at a time when it looked like it kind of was a popular thing to do. With all those dead Parisians, it doesn’t look so popular anymore.”
Christie echoed a similar line of attack used by Rubio against Cruz on Monday. “There are Republicans, including Senator Cruz, that have voted to weaken those programs. That is just part of the record, it is nothing personal,” Rubio said on Fox News. “The fact of the matter is that today, we do not know as much as we once did about potential adversaries. Partially due to the disclosures made by a traitor named Edward Snowden. And part of it due to presidential directives and even this law that was recently passed that has cancelled the metadata collection program which means if, God forbid, there were a terrorist attack in America tomorrow, we would not be to gather the phone records of individuals that might be a part of that plot in a time effective way.”
The New Jersey Governor boasted about his national security credentials, stating no candidate has the level of experience he has on the matter. “I was the United States attorney for seven years,” he said. “Let me tell you something, that next day after September 10, it was personal. The fight against terrorism was personal to me and we brought the two — two of the biggest terrorism cases in the post-9/11 era. I’m the only person on that stage that’s used the Patriot Act, I’m the only person on that stage that’s used the FISA court, I’m the only person on that stage who has actually fought terrorism, knows how to use those tools and knows how to bring terrorism to heel.”
Unlike his direct attack on Cruz, who’s now riding high in the polls in Iowa, Christie refused to attack Rubio. Asked by the show’s senior political analyst Mark Halperin if there’s anything in Rubio’s past that raises questions about his judgment to be president, Christie responded, “No. You know, nothing that comes to me in mind.” But he did say that the Florida Senator “doesn’t have my experience.”
“You know, I’ve been through the fire here. I’ve been through the media fire, as you all know,” he explained. “I’ve been through the fire of dealing with what I lovingly call an unruly state to govern with Democratic majorities.”