- Name: Christopher James Christie
- Date of Birth: September 6, 1962
- Place of Birth: Newark, New Jersey
- Religion: Catholic
- Marital Status: Married (Mary Pat)
- Children: Andrew (21), Sarah (19), Patrick (15) and Bridget (11)
- Alma Mater: University of Delaware (BA), Seton Hall University School of Law (JD)
- Political Career: Governor of New Jersey (2010-present); U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey (2002-2008); Freeholder, Morris County (1995-1998)
- Twitter Handle: @GovChristie
Christie was born and raised in New Jersey. He began his career as lawyer, won his first election in 1994 as a freeholder for Morris County, but lost the next year in a bid to win a seat in New Jersey’s state Assembly. He moved to New Jersey’s capital, Trenton, in 1998, not as an elected official but as a lobbyist for energy companies.
He raised funds for the George W. Bush campaign in 2000, and in 2002 Bush appointed him U.S. attorney for New Jersey. He held the position until 2008. In 2009 he won the New Jersey governorship by defeatingincumbent Governor Jon Corzine.
Christie soon became a hot commodity in GOP circles as a tough-talking governor of a state that typically goes blue in presidential elections. He was seen as so appealing that some Republicans tried to recruit him to contest the 2012 presidential election. Christie passed.
But in a twist of fate he became part of the election conversation anyway. Just days before Election Day,Hurricane Sandy devastated the New Jersey coast. Once the waters subsided, Christie praised President Obama’s handling of the storm response and then exchanged a friendly handshake with the president when he visited New Jersey to see the damage firsthand.
Some Republicans were furious with Christie, insisting he had hugged the president and helped him win the presidency. Christie pointed out that, “There was no hug. Stop.” As for being gracious to the president, Christie’s response to the criticism was succinct: “I will not apologize for doing my job.”
Christie’s political star was in ascendance again in 2013 when he won a decisive re-election victory. He beat his overmatched opponent by 22 percentage points. More important, he won a majority of the votes of two constituencies that Republicans have struggled with nationally, women and Hispanics. (Newsweek)
The political momentum that Christie gained with his re-election victory has since been derailed by the “Bridgegate” scandal. In September 2013, a traffic jam at the entrance to the George Washington Bridge, one of the major crossing points over the Hudson River into New York, snarled traffic in Fort Lee, New Jersey for four days.
It later emerged that members of Christie’s staff had ordered the lane closures that caused the jam. They allegedly wanted to punish Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor for failing to endorse Christie for re-election.
Federal authorities charged two Christie staffers and another New Jersey official with using state resources for political ends. One of the Christie staffers pled guilty; the other two officials are scheduled to go on trial this fall. Christie denies playing a role in the lane closures; an internal probe he commissioned by an outside law firm cleared him of any wrongdoing. He insists that the media owe him an apology for falsely suggesting that he instigated Bridgegate. (Newsweek)
- 1 Issues
- 1.1 Tax Reform
- 1.2 Health Policy
- 1.3 Drug Policy
- 1.4 Middle East
- 1.5 Trade
- 1.6 Immigration
- 1.7 Environmental
- 1.8 Jobs and Business Policy
- 1.9 Entrepreneurship and Innovation
- 1.10 Religion
- 1.11 Quotes
- 1.12 Sources Key
Links: Christie | Tax Reform | (section page)
“Flatter, Fairer And Simpler Individual Income Taxes”
- Lower Rates For Every American: Simplify the income tax system to just three individual income tax rates, instead of the current six. The top rate will be no higher than the 28% set in the last major successful tax reform effort in this country – the Bradley-Gephardt-Reagan law signed in 1986. and the bottom rate should be single digit.
- Keep Taxes Simple By Reducing Deductions And Giveaways: Eliminate or modify deductions, credits, and targeted provisions in the code – both on the personal and the corporate side – to ensure that the plan does not increase the deficit. One approach in this regard is to cap the total amount of deductions and credits that an individual or married couple could take.
- Governor Christie would keep in place the deduction for charitable contributions and that for interest on home mortgages – at least for a first home.
“Putting Capital To Work In America”
“U.S. companies are declining to make investments here at home.”
- Encourage Capital Investments In Equipment: “Companies are not making capital investments in the U.S. in part because they are concerned about the anti-growth direction of Washington.” Christie wants to permit the full expensing of corporate investments in capital equipment and encourage this type of very important investment to “spur the type of growth that will create middle class jobs.”
- A One-Time Repatriation Holiday: Allow American companies a one-time opportunity to repatriate profits earned overseas over the last two decades at a much lower tax rate - 8.75%.
- “This would unleash well over a trillion dollars of capital that would be invested in the United States of America to expand companies in the U.S, build factories and warehouses, improve our infrastructure and create jobs.”
- A Territorial Tax System: As it stands now, America is among a tiny handful of nations which have a system that taxes profits twice. Christie would have his “one-time repatriation holiday” be combined with a permanent transition to a Territorial Tax System going forward, in which profits are taxed just once in the country in which they are generated.
“A More Competitive Corporate Tax Rate”
“While other countries have been reducing their rates to improve their competitive position, the United States has been stuck at 35% which discourages investment and job creation.”
- Reduce The Corporate Tax Rate From 35% To 25%: The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) studies have shown that corporate taxes are the most harmful to growth. In fact, Standard & Poor’s reported that cutting the corporate tax rate by ten percentage point could create as many as 10 million jobs over the next five years, while improving labor force participation. NEED TO FACT CHECK THIS
- Repeal The Medical Device Tax: Repeal one of Obamacare’s 2.3% tax on medical devices. “The medical device industry has been a source of growth for the U.S. economy, a source of exports, and a source of innovation.”
Eliminate The Payroll Tax For Those At The Beginning And End Of Their Careers
In outlining his entitlement reform proposals, Governor Christie recommended eliminating the payroll tax for those above age 62. Today, Governor Christie is also calling for a similar tax break for those newly entering the work force, below age 25. This will encourage those nearing retirement to keep working should they want to; and make it easier for the young to enter the work force. (CCWEG)
Christie | Health Policy | (section page)
“Protecting Health Benefits For Today’s And Tomorrow’s Seniors”
Governor Christie proposes “keeping it simple - if you can afford to pay more for your health benefits you will and if you can’t, you won’t.”
- Expanding Existing Premium Means Testing: expanding the existing sliding scale for Medicare premiums for higher-income seniors
- Seniors with a $85,000 a year income will pay 40% of premium costs, increasing it to 90% above $196,000 a year.
- Greater cost-sharing through higher income-related premiums will also be applied to the drug prescription program Medicare Part D.
- Rasing the Eligibility Age at a Gradual Rate:Just as with Social Security, the Medicare program must be adjusted to reflect the longer, healthier and more productive lives Americans are living. Governor Christie proposes increasing the Medicare eligibility by one month per year so that by 2040 it would be 67 years old, and by 2064 would be 69 years old.
- Creating Uniform, Single Combined Deductible:
- Creating a uniform single annual deductible of $550, with a uniform coinsurance rate of 20% above the deductible.
- Providing catastrophic protection for seniors with just a 5% cost-share after out of pocket expenses reach $5,500 in a year, and a hard cap of $7,500 a year in cost-sharing. This will save money for the Medicare system while also providing greater protection against catastrophic costs for seniors.
“Empowering States To Focus On Better Services For The Individual”
Governor Christie proposes “making the program less complicated, easier and more focused on how to serve people.”
- Providing States with a Per Capita Allocation To Fund The Program: Under Governor Christie’s proposal, per capita caps are indexed to the number of enrollees in Medicaid, giving each state a set amount of funds per individual enrollee. The Governor also proposes to adjust this amount for inflation going forward. Under such an arrangement, Medicaid would continue to provide more funding for states and low-income individuals when the economy is doing poorly and unemployment increases. By implementing a per capita cap system, all states will have increased freedom to tailor Medicaid programs.
- Simplifying the Waiver Process: Under the current system, states have to wait months to receive waiver approval in order to shape their Medicaid program to fit the specific needs of their state and people. The Governor is calling for a simplified waiver process where “waiver templates” of what has worked in one state, to make them easy to approve in another.
- Better Coordinating Care For Dual Eligibles: Over 9 million low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities are enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid. And while these individuals represent just 13% of enrollees in either program, they account for 27% of all Medicare spending and 40% of Medicaid spending. These individuals would be better served if they received their coverage through a managed care organization. This will allow the services provided to them to be better coordinated through singular oversight across the spectrum of health care funding streams.
- Requiring a Modest Copay for Those Above the Poverty Line. Governor Christie proposes that those Medicaid with incomes above 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) would have a $10 copay for a doctor’s visit and a $20 copay for a hospital visit. This will introduce economics into the health care purchase decision and encourage rational use of health care resources.
“Refocusing Assistance To Put People Back to Work” Gov. Christie proposes “focusing on ways to help those beneficiaries who can keep working to return to the workforce and encouraging rehabilitation in lieu of permanent disability.”
- Focusing On Remaining In The Workforce: Similar to reforms enacted in The Netherlands, for individuals applying for disability benefits the goal should be to find solutions that keep people in the labor force and living productive lives. “Reforms in The Netherlands have had the effect of reducing the flow of new disability beneficiaries by 60% in 6 years.”
- Workplace Solutions And Rehabilitation: Require applicants to first work directly with employers and rehabilitation specialists to create a plan and explore alternatives and accommodations that can be made to address their specific needs in their current workplace.
- Employer Incentives: Offer tax incentives that encourage employers to invest in prevention, accommodation and rehabilitation services for their workers as well as to provide short-term private disability insurance.
- Incentivizing Individuals To Get Back To Work: Governor Christie proposes reforming the DI program to encourage people to get back into the workforce by speeding up the qualification review process, updating the requirements for recency of work and for returning to work, as well as increasing funding for continuing reviews. At the same time the program should encourage vocational rehab, wage subsidies and preventive care services to keep an individual working with additional support.
Healthcare for Veterans
Christie is committed to our nation’s veterans and providing them with the healthcare they’ve been promised.
- ANYTIME, ANYWHERE CARE:
Governor Christie believes veterans should be able to receive their health care benefit from any medical institution. Private sector and nonprofit hospitals want to be engaged in veteran health care and they should be brought in to supplement treatment delivered from veterans’ hospitals.
- QUALIFIED LEADERSHIP AT THE VA:
As President, Christie would hire a qualified professional who has run a major healthcare system in this country to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The majority of the role of the VA has become that of a healthcare provider and therefore needs someone who knows how to meet the mission of providing adequate and timely care.
- 24/7 HOTLINE:
In New Jersey, Governor Christie’s administration established a 24 hours a day 7 days a week hotline manned by mental health professionals as well as veteran volunteers. Governor Christie supports creating a similar nationwide hotline to act as a resource for veterans experiencing mental health issues when they get home. (CCWER)
Christie | Drug Policy | (section page)
Focus on Treatment First with Expansion of Drug Courts:
Governor Christie has championed the use of drug courts in the state of New Jersey, which allow first time, non-violent offenders, the opportunity to get the treatment they need rather than serving jail time. The Governor expanded mandatory drug court for first time non-violent drug offenders across the state, and is calling for the expansion drug courts to every state.
- The rate at which drug court graduates are re-arrested for new offenses is 16% and the reconviction rate is 8%. This is compared to re-arrest rates for drug offenders released from prison, which stand at 54% with a re-conviction rate of 43%.
- An average institutional cost per inmate is approximately $38,900, whereas the cost for an active drug court participant is roughly $11,379.
Governor Christie also called for ending the current dysfunctional, ad-hoc approach for implementing drug courts being used on the federal level.
- As President, Christie would make drug court mandatory in all 94 federal districts. He will implement a system to review and analyze outcomes of the various drug court models and institute best practices guidance for federal judges and prosecutors.
- Allow private sector to offer drug treatment programs. (Nov 2015)
- Treatment, not jail, for drug addicts; it's a disease. (Nov 2015)
- I support medical not recreational marijuana. (Sep 2015)
- Mandatory drug treatment, not jail, for first time dealers. (Sep 2015)
- Drug addiction is a disease: treatment instead of jail. (Apr 2015)
- Drug addiction is a disease & it can be treated. (Jan 2015)
- Drug courts: mandate treatment, not imprisonment. (Jan 2014)
(OTI:Drugs) Full quotes available on source.
Christie | Middle East | (section page)
- "She (Hillary Clinton) put American intelligence officers at risk for her convenience" (regarding Clinton's e-mail scandal) (RD7)
Mr. Christie said in April that American combat troops might be needed to fight the Islamic State. “We have to be willing as Americans to say, if need be, we’ll also put soldiers into the fight.” He said he had “grave concerns” about a potential deal with Iran to curb its nuclear program, saying that an agreement would lead other Middle East nations to develop nuclear abilities, and that Tehran, as a state sponsor of terrorism, has “no basis to have earned our trust.” He has been sharply critical of President Obama’s warming of ties with Cuba, and of Americans who travel there, saying Cubans “can’t vote, they can’t speak, they can’t own property.” Addressing Russia’s support of separatist rebels in Ukraine, he said that Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, would be more fearful of him than of Mr. Obama. “I don’t believe, given who I am, that he would make the same judgment,” he said last summer. (NYT)
Iran Nuclear Deal
Christie opposes the pending nuclear deal with Iran, calling it “the single biggest disaster in the seven years of the Obama administration.” He claims that President Obama is pursuing the deal because he has “an absolutely quenchless thirst to have his name in the history books.” As for Iran:
“They’re the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. They say ‘Death to America’ on a regular basis. They want to blow Israel off the map. And this president wants to give them the ability to get nuclear weapons? It is outrageous. It is immoral what’s happening. He should walk away from that table, and by the way, if we don’t have enough guts to do it, our allies should walk away from the table.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that Christie would tear up any deal on his first day in the Oval Office, as most of his GOP rivals have pledged to do:
“I’m not one of those guys who’s going to say to you, ‘On Day One, I will abrogate the agreement.… On Day One, I will look into and try to decide what to do with the agreement, depending on where we are at that moment. Because, by the way, it’s not just us involved anymore. We have a number of our allies around the world who’re at that table as well, and sanctions are most effective when not only we do it, but the other allies do it.” (Newsweek)
“When I stand across from King Hussein of Jordan and I say to him, ‘You have a friend again sir, who will stand with you to fight this fight,’ he’ll change his mind.”(NP) King Hussein died in 1999
- Push Russia out of Middle East; establish US dominance. (Oct 2015)
- Arm Emiratis, Jordanians, & others before sending US troops. (Aug 2015)
- America should be clear to world about what we stand for. (Feb 2014)
- New isolationism, & reducing anti-terrorism, is dangerous. (Jul 2013)
(OTI:FP) Full quotes available on source.
Christie | Trade | (section page)
Free Trade Agreements
Christie supports new free-trade agreements like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership(TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), at least in theory. The main caveat is that he doesn’t trust President Obama to deliver a good deal:
“I’m generally in favor of trade and free trade. Of course the devil is always in the details. I’m not a huge truster in this president’s ability to negotiate on behalf of American interests. I’m someone who believes in trade promotion authority. But I don’t know that I would give this president trade promotion authority. This is the same guy who’s negotiating such a great deal that Iran is going to be a nuclear power. And so trade deals I think are important to expand American markets to bring our products to other people and theirs to us and to allow America competition to be able to continue to be what drives us to be the number one economy in the world.” (Newsweek)
North American Trade
Last September, Christie traveled to Mexico to help boost its trade with New Jersey. He followed up with a trip to Canada in December. He explained his reasoning for the two trips:
“When we decided to do foreign travel in 2014, I intentionally selected Mexico and Canada…we need to make these neighbors of ours a first thought, not an afterthought, and the fact is that the best way to do that is to meet people, to let them know by your physical presence and your interest in what’s going on in their countries that they’re important partners of ours.… I believe we need to spend much more time on our own hemisphere and on our continent, but also because I wanted to acknowledge and have the opportunity to expand our business and trade relationships with Canada and Mexico.” (Newsweek)
Energy Cooperation and NAFTA
Christie emphasizes the importance of energy cooperation and trade among North American countries. On that score, he thinks the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) needs revision:
“I do think that we need to take another look at NAFTA.…It’s been 20 years now since NAFTA was put into effect and what’s the next chapter going to look like? We know what’s happened over the last 20 years with NAFTA, but I think we need to be talking to our neighbors about what the next generation of NAFTA will look like.” (Newsweek)
Christie | Immigration | (section page)
Governor Christie supports securing the border and “common-sense fixes” to America’s immigration system.
“Our borders must be sealed. Our laws must be enforced."
SECURING THE BORDER:
Governor Christie has called for securing the border with Mexico through:
- A border wall where appropriate, specifically in urbanized areas
- An increase in manpower, specifically embedding FBI, DEA and ATF agents with our border patrol to interdict guns and drugs being smuggled into the country
- Advanced technology such as the use of drones and electronic surveillance to increase efficiency
Christie, unlike many of his Republican rivals, plays down the need for stricter border security. “Walls can be gotten over,” he said. “The reason people come here is to work.” He says illegal immigration will drop “if we clamp down on folks who are hiring people in this manner.” He had New Jersey join a lawsuit against Mr. Obama’s executive order seeking to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation, but he says Republicans should work with the president to push such legislation in Congress. In 2014, he signed into law a measure letting illegal immigrants pay in-state college tuition rates if they have lived in New Jersey for three years and have graduated from a high school in the state. (NYT)
UNIVERSAL WORKPLACE ENFORCEMENT:
- Most who enter the country illegally come here to work. Employers should not be exploiting cheap illegal labor and should be held accountable when they do. Every employer in the country should be using e-verify to check the work status of employees.
- Fines for hiring illegal workers should be double the profit a business has made from that worker. This will remove the incentive to hire illegal workers.
KEEP TRACK OF THOSE WHO ARE OVERSTAYING THEIR VISAS:
Around 40% of the illegal immigrants currently in the U.S. came into the country legally and simply overstayed their visas. We should be utilizing existing biometric technology to keep track of those who enter the country on a visa, so that that they can be returned home once their visas are expired. (CCWI)
ELIMINATE FUNDING FOR SANCTUARY CITIES:
As president, Governor Christie will enforce all the laws as president, not just some. He will block federal funding for sanctuary cities who are choosing to ignore the law. (CCWI)
BLOCK “PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ILLEGAL EXECUTIVE AMNESTY”:
Governor Christie joined the legal fight against President Obama’s Executive Amnesty, signing onto an amicus brief that successfully urged the Appeals Court to uphold the injunction.
- Governor Christie condemned President Obama’s Executive Actions and failure to secure border that have “allowed people to believe that they could come here under any circumstances not under the law and be able to stay here.”
Christie | Environmental | (section page)
NJ Gov. Chris Christie said he wants to see more investments in renewable energy come from the private sector. "We worked with the private sector to make solar affordable and available to businesses and individuals in our state," he said during Wednesday's Republican debate. "That's the way we deal with global warming — not through government intervention, not through government taxes, and for God's sake, don't send Washington another dime until they stop wasting the money they are already sending now." New Jersey is among the top 10 states in the country with the most solar energy. Christie said he was also interested in other energy sources, like oil, natural gas and wind. (CNBC)
Mr. Christie is not a climate change denialist: “I think global warming is real,” he said in April. “And I do think human activity contributes to it.” But he withdrew New Jersey from a regional cap-and-trade program intended to limit carbon emissions that cause global warming, and argued last year against unilaterally curbing emissions when people in China are “doing things to the environment that would never be done in our country.” (NYT)
- Ethanol in gasoline is the law; and that's just the minimum. (Mar 2015)
- Christie speaking in support of the Renewable Fuel Standard at an agriculture summit
- Jersey shore for tourism instead of offshore drilling. (Aug 2011)
- Full Quote: "New Jersey's beach resources and shore towns are what make the Jersey shore the unique destination it is, and are the reason thousands of visitors return year after year. As stewards of the environment, it is incumbent that we take all necessary measures to protect these treasures and to sustain our coastal communities and the diverse economies they support."
(OTI:E) Full quotes available on source page.
Jobs and Business Policy
Christie | Jobs and Business Policy | (section page)
Getting Regulation Under Control
Capping The Cost Of Regulation For Employers: President Obama’s own Small Business Administration admitted that federal regulation costs over $10,000 per employee. Congress should adopt a regulatory budget, such that the cost of complying with all regulations adopted by the federal government in any given year will not exceed a set amount. (CCWEG)
Creating Incentives to Work
“Today, though, there are too many federal policies which discourage work. America must reduce the marginal cost to the employee of taking a job, and reduce the federally-imposed cost to an employer of hiring someone.”
- Repeal Obamacare’s 30-Hour Workweek: Obamacare requires that any employer employing someone more than 30 hours a week provide health insurance. This rule is a clear contributor to the massive shift from full time to part time employment under this president. Let’s get the 40-hour work week off the endangered species list and put Americans back to work.
- Eliminate The Payroll Tax For Those At The Beginning And End Of Their Careers: In outlining his entitlement reform proposals, Governor Christie recommended eliminating the payroll tax for those above age 62. Today, Governor Christie is also calling for a similar tax break for those newly entering the work force, below age 25. This will encourage those nearing retirement to keep working should they want to; and make it easier for the young to enter the work force. Both will be good for America.
- Reform Disability Insurance To Help Individuals Return To Work: As part of his entitlement reform proposal package, Governor Christie called for reforming Social Security Disability Insurance to encourage a return to work and to reward employers who re-hire those on disability. As part of this proposal, eligibility for benefits would be conditioned on entering a rehabilitation program and developing a workplace reentry plan.
Ensuring That America Is The Home of Innovation
"This will require investing in research and development, focusing education on the needs of employers and increasing access to capital.”
- Give Greater Priority To Investments In The Future: In the past few decades, as spending on entitlements and health care as a percent of GDP has soared, investment in R&D has been basically flat. Yet it is this exact investment in basic R&D, in such areas as biomedical research, materials science, and high performance computing that has laid the vital groundwork for so much innovation in America’s fastest growing industries, such as technology and biotech.
- To encourage private sector innovation, the R&D tax credit permanent as part of broader tax reform. In 2009, over 12,000 companies, including over 5,000 manufacturers, used the credit.
- Greater Focus On Workforce Skills In Higher Education: In addition to investing in universities themselves through research, the U.S. must do a better job matching the skills students learn with the needs of employers. Pathways between high school, post-secondary education, and the entrylevel job market must be more seamless. Students and parents also need greater transparency on what they’re paying for and greater choice on whether we want to pay for it.
- Give Young, Growing Companies Easier Access To Capital: America has for many years had the deepest, most liquid, most transparent capital markets in the world. Yet America is now losing its edge, in part due to the unintended consequences of regulation. Reform which makes it easier for young high growth companies to access the capital markets is essential.
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Christie's Entrepreneurship and Innovation (section page)
- "In these past five years, we have delivered needed tax relief to small businesses. The $2.3 billion small business tax relief package that we continue to phase in is improving New Jersey's business climate and making our state more competitive. That approach is explicit in the sweeping, bipartisan changes we've made to New Jersey's economic incentive programs."(OTICC)
Christie's Religion (section page):
Separation of Church and State
Persecution of Christians in other Countries
Christie's Quotes (section page):
- On Illegal Drugs: "This is a disease. It’s not a moral failing, it’s a disease. And we need to get people the treatment they need." RD8
- "And I’m pro life not just for the nine months in the womb, I’m pro-life for when they get out and it’s a lot more complicated." RD8
(Newsweek) = 
(CCWEG) = 
(CCWER) = 
(CCWJR) = 
(OTI:Drugs) = 
(NYT) = 
(OTI:FP) = 
(CCWI) = 
(CNBC) = 
(OTI:E) =