Bucking his party, Chris Christie makes his case for 2024


Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks during a town-hall style event at Saint Anselm College, New Hampshire Institute of Politics on June 6, Manchester.

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Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spoke at a town-hall style event at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. on June 6, 2010.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, is still a Republican. “Look, our country has changed a lot,” Christie said. Christie said, “I think I am a different candidate today than I was 8 years ago.” “I see this as an opportunity for real change in our party. I entered this race because it seemed that no one else was arguing for the same thing. No one wanted to argue directly with Donald Trump about why his behavior disqualified him from ever becoming president of the United States. I’m going to argue that point. I have been making this case. It’s not just important for my party but also for our country. “

In a wide-ranging interview with Susan Davis and Tamara Keith on

The NPR Politics Podcast

, Christie explained his views on potential Republican efforts to impeach President Biden, access to abortion and former President Donald Trump.

Interview Highlights

On the indictments facing former President TrumpDAVIS: Do you have any doubt about these indictments

? Do you think that politics is driving them? Do you doubt the motives behind these investigators? In particular, Jack Smith, the special counsel? The conduct that is the basis of these indictments. To be clear, i think that the conduct of a man is what disqualifies him as president more than any prosecutor’s judgment. I have also publicly stated that I do not believe I would have brought the New York or Atlanta cases against Donald Trump. I thought the New York case would be a stupid one to bring. While I disagree with his decision to pay a pornstar to conceal an extramarital affair when you are running for president, it is not something I think should be a priority for the Manhattan DA office. Jack Smith, I believe, brought the Atlanta case against Donald Trump. Double-filing these kinds of cases is not a good idea. As U.S. Attorney, I made sure to work with local prosecutors. We either worked together on the case when possible, or chose which of us would take it up based on what was best for the investigation. The two federal cases were, in my opinion, the right cases to be brought. Everyone in the country has a right to innocence. But I think particularly the classified documents case is one that he will have a very, very hard time, either legally or factually, getting out from under.

On potential Republican efforts to impeach President Biden for his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings

DAVIS: Do you think that case is there? Do you think that an impeachment case should be brought against the president?

Not at this point. The House should be able to oversee the situation, I think. Then, if that oversight gives us proof that the president is somehow involved. He has been very clear, as have his spokespeople that he had no involvement or time with his son’s business. You know, I doubt that the phone calls we have heard about are enough to impeach the president, but I’d need to see more evidence. No, I do not think so at this time. But I do think there’s enough smoke that the DOJ should be looking into it, that David Weiss, the special counsel, should be looking into that, and the House should be providing appropriate oversight to get the facts out.

On abortion access and federal legislation concerning abortion

KEITH: If Congress sends to your desk any legislation that would put restrictions on abortion access, would you sign it into law?As I’ve said on this issue, I think we fought as conservatives for 50 years to say this is not a federal issue, it’s a state issue. First, I hope over the next 16 months, each state and its people will weigh in on the abortion issue, whether through referendums or through the actions of the legislature and governor. If there was a consensus in the Congress that led to a clear national consensus, I’d consider signing a law like that. But I do not think that the federal government should take away the right of states and people to make their own decisions. At the moment, I find it hard to believe that you could get 60 votes for any of these proposals in the Senate. If a national consensus was formed by the wisdom and action of the 50 state, then I would consider it. But the states should be the ones who are making the calls on this and the people of each of those 50 states.KEITH: Are there any states that have limits that you think are too strict or too lenient?

Sure. Oklahoma’s ban on abortions except for the purpose of saving the life the mother is too restrictive. New Jersey’s policy of allowing abortions until the ninth month is also too lax. I believe the states should be making these decisions. I am willing to admit that I believe there are some outliers from both sides. But I want to see the states make these decisions. As a lawyer as well as a politician, I have argued that

Roe V. Wade

is wrong. It shouldn’t be a federal matter, it’s not constitutional. It would be hypocritical for me to now say that now that


is no longer in effect, the federal government should take over. On access to healthcare services for transgender children

KEITH : You’re the only Republican candidate in this race who opposes the bans on specialized medical care for transgender children. What shaped your opinion on this issue? My wife and I love our four children the most, and we know what is best for them. No governor in a state capitol knows how to raise my children better than I do. I don’t support big government, but I do believe this is a conservative Republican view. I believe that any government interference between parents and children of this kind is wrong and that’s the reason I oppose it.