New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie slammed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today for misrepresenting his position on Hurricane Sandy funding, arguing that the senator was playing “with people’s lives in 2012 and 2013” and is “playing politics to make himself try to look like the most conservative.”
Christie said Monday he’s urging his state’s lawmakers to pass the emergency funding bill while shaming Texas lawmakers over their past votes on Sandy funding to help his home state.
“The congressional members in Texas are hypocrites and I said back in 2012 they would be proven to be hypocrites,” Christie said. “When you’re a state that has any kind of coastal exposure, like Texas does to the Gulf, you’re going to wind up having some type of disaster. Then all of a sudden you’re not going to want to have a conversation about all the philosophical niceties because people are suffering and dying.”
In a live feed Monday from an emergency shelter for Hurricane Harvey victims, Cruz told MSNBC that he opposed the Sandy relief legislation because “two-thirds of that bill had nothing to do with Sandy” and added “there’s time for political sniping later.”
“The accurate thing to say is that I and a number of others enthusiastically and emphatically supported hurricane relief for Sandy,” Cruz said. “The problem with that particular bill is it became a $50 billion bill that was filled with unrelated pork… it’s not right for politicians to exploit a disaster when people are hurting to pay for their own political wish list.”
Christie told MSNBC this morning that Cruz was “dead wrong,” citing the Washington Post fact check that gave Cruz’s claim three Pinocchios.
“The fact of the matter is that there was a Senate version of a bill that never passed that had a lot more spending. It got stripped out and almost all of the spending in the $50 billion bill was for New York and New Jersey and some of the other areas that got affected by Sandy for hurricane relief,” the governor said.
“He knows it. See, the worst thing about it — and this is why politics has become so cynical in Washington, is statements like that. He should just stand up now and say, you know what, I was wrong. I was wrong in 2012. It was the wrong thing to do. And now I hope that the people of New Jersey and New York are willing to let bygones be bygones and vote for relief for Texas. I’ll tell you, that’s exactly what New Jersey,” he added.
Christie charged that Cruz “just made it up” as “Ted is particularly good at that.”
“You know it and I know it, he made it up because it sounded good. Right?” he said. “The disgraceful part of that, the truly disgraceful part of what we just saw was that he is not telling the truth, standing in a recovery center, where people are suffering.”
Christie noted that 20 Texas lawmakers voted against the Sandy relief package. “But you know people from New Jersey, we don’t hold a grudge. So we are happy to be helpful now. We’re happy to be helpful now because we know what the suffering is like.”
The governor also went on CNN this morning, saying he wanted “to remind people the past is prologue.”
“If we allow this politics to be played by either party in the next few days, the only people who will suffer are the people in Houston, who are suffering right now,” he said.