The PJ Tatler

Chris Christie Touts Fiscal, Life Record at RedState Gathering

Gov. Chris Christie speaks to Red State Gathering 2015

“We are spending $2.5 billion less in discretionary spending than we were when I came into office.” — Gov. Chris Christie speaks to Red State Gathering 2015

Democrat legislators in New Jersey knew how to solve a deficit…just raise taxes. That was the advice Gov. Chris Christie got on arriving as “the new sheriff in town.” But Christie vetoed the tax hike, and told them if they shut down the government over it, he would go home, order a pizza, have a beer and watch a Mets game. The latter act he referred to as “shared sacrifice.” He simply wouldn’t raise taxes. He has since vetoed five tax-hiking budgets, Christie said.

In addition to his fiscal record, the New Jersey governor told RedState Gathering 2015 that he’s strongly pro-life yet was elected in a “blue state.” He slammed Hillary Clinton for making a video suggesting that defunding Planned Parenthood would hurt women’s health. Christie responded with his own video asking Clinton if she supports killing infants in the womb in such a way as to maximize the value of their organs on the market.

“Our party needs to define pro-life even larger,” Christie said. “It’s not just for the time in the womb. That’s the easiest time to be pro-life because they’ve done nothing to disappoint us yet.” [LAUGHTER]

We need to be pro-life for teens on drugs or locked up. We need to be pro-life for kids in failing public schools.

“Only God gives life and only God can take life,” he said, “and we should not allow assisted suicide.”

Then Christie expanded the notion to press for helping drug addicts. He told a story about a law school friend who had a successful life, professionally and personally. He hurt his back, and got a prescription for Percoset. A year later his wife called Christie because his friend was addicted. They did an intervention. For the next ten years they did four or five more. He got divorced, lost his law license and his job, lost his driver’s license and his right to visit his kids. He eventually died at 52 of the addiction to Percoset. His tremendously successful friend  was robbed by his addiction.

“I’m for drug rehabilitation for everybody we can get it for,” he said, “because every life is a precious gift from God.”

He did not say what role government would have in that, or at what level government would be involved — local, state or federal — but given the office he seeks it would seem he sees a federal role.

Christie took questions from the audience, first praising Associate Justice Sam Alito as a model for the kind of Supreme Court justice he would nominate. Look at their writings, not their public statements, Christie said, because that’s what they had to put their name to.

Asked how to fund the government and pay down $18 trillion at the same time, he said spending cuts alone can’t do it.

“You have to cut spending, but you also have to grow this economy,” Christie said. We need to simplify the tax code, which is “designed for the rich.” Eliminate all deductions except for mortgage interest and charitable donations, he said.

“Imagine how many people I could fire from the IRS if you could do your taxes in 15 minutes,” he said, eliciting laughter from the RedState crowd.

On the undue influence of the Chamber of Commerce on Republican policy, Christie said his tax plan is a big part of addressing that. He also says the Chamber hinders reforming immigration.

“If every employer in this country were required to use e-verify and the fines were big enough” it would take power out of the hands of the Chamber, while improving the economy and fixing the immigration issue.

As chair of the Republican Governors Association, Christie helped elected 31 Republican governors, speaking at many events across the country. And a Northern governor can win in the South because people around the country have the same concerns about the economy and national defense, and any number of other issues. Strong leadership is not a regional issue.

Then he added, to much laughter, that we’d get used to “the New Jersey thing.”