In a New Hampshire town hall meeting, Republican presidential candidate Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.) referred to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as “Secretary Happy Talk” and suggested she suspend campaigning over her recent ISIS comments.
“We had the woman who wants to succeed [Obama], who said in the debate here in New Hampshire Saturday night that as to ISIS we’re finally exactly where we want to be. Here’s what I suggest to Secretary Clinton: I suggest that she suspend campaigning, get on an airplane, fly to Paris and before Christmas meet with the families of the murdered victims in Paris and tell them we’re exactly where we want to be as to ISIS as they endure, not celebrate, endure Christmas this year without their loved ones. I want her to look them in the eye,” Christie said at a town hall meeting in New London, N.H.
“The fact is she is Secretary Happy Talk. That’s her new name, that’s all I am going to call her from now on is Secretary Happy Talk. The slogan for this administration should be, ‘do you believe me or your lying eyes?’” he added.
Christie also labeled Clinton a “hypocrite” due to her support for military intervention in Libya.
“If the Libya policy had worked out well, if we had a burgeoning vibrant democracy that replaced Moammar Gadhafi in Libya, she would be literally setting her hair on fire and running around the stage to get you to notice her policy was a success. Yet when it’s a failure she refuses to be accountable. See, she’s never been a governor because when something goes bad there’s nowhere else to point.”
Christie added that America “cannot afford” to put a U.S. senator from either party in the White House for the next four years.
“They don’t know how to take responsibility, they don’t know how to be held accountable because all they have to do is every once in a while vote. She is the worst example of it,” he said.
Christie said he knows how to beat Clinton, pointing to his support among African-Americans and Hispanics in New Jersey.
“I like my odds if I am on that stage next September against Hillary Rodham Clinton. I want you to remember one thing – these folks know because they are from New Jersey but you should know – 49.5 percent in 2009. In 2013, after governing as a conservative in New Jersey and doing these things for four years, 61 percent of the vote in a state that Barack Obama had gotten 59 percent the year before,” he said.
“I won the Hispanic vote – won it – 51 percent of the Hispanic vote in New Jersey; 22 percent of the African-American vote, up from 9 percent four years earlier, and 57 percent of the female vote against an 18-year female state senator. In the end, if you walk away from today with nothing else just remember this: I know how to win, and if we don’t win this election we won’t recognize this country in four years,” he added.
Christie told the audience that he and his wife, Mary Pat, spent a lot of time campaigning in African-American churches.
“You know why? Because those have been the most reliable Democratic votes in America in the last 50 years and every time the Democrats come into an African-American church they say we are going to give you safer streets and better schools. How’s it working? That’s all I said when I went there. Most of the time I just sat and listened but when I spoke that’s what I said,” Christie said.
“If they haven’t delivered for 50 years what makes you think they are going to deliver this year? Why don’t you give somebody else a chance? We went into Hispanic neighborhoods, into their churches, into their small businesses and sat and listened, and when I initially went they didn’t want to talk to me because they hadn’t had a Republican come there for a long time. We have to campaign in places where we are uncomfortable,” he added.
Christie, who is making gains in N.H. polls, urged Republicans to listen to voters, minorities in particular, and not talk too much.
According to a recent CBS News/YouGov poll, Christie climbed to fourth place in New Hampshire.
“We haven’t listened to [minorities] for a long time as a party and we need to listen. If you want to get their vote, you have to listen to folks,” he said. “Then you can talk about what it is you dream for them, what your aspirations are for your state or for your country.”
Christie said Republicans are sometimes falsely portrayed as not caring for people as much as Democrats.
“That’s baloney. I’ve met plenty of Republicans over my life who care just as much as Democrats, if not more, and if not in better ways, but we’ve got to open our hearts. We’ve got to show people,” he told the audience.
Christie said he told former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) all the time in 2012 that if he showed America his heart he would win the election.
“He was uncomfortable in doing it. It wasn’t him. I’ve got no problem with that. People are going to see my heart and know what I believe in and what I feel,” he said. “And people in America today need to see that. They don’t only want to know what you think, they want to know what you feel because they feel a lot right now — and they want to know if their president feels the same things they do.”