By Justin Sink – 11/29/11 08:27 AM ET
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ripped President Obama for the failure of the debt supercommittee, calling the president “a bystander in the Oval Office” in comments Monday.
“I was angry this weekend, listening to the spin coming out of the administration, about the failure of the supercommittee, and that the president knew it was doomed for failure, so he didn’t get involved. Well, then what the hell are we paying you for?” Christie said in Camden, N.J. ” ‘It’s doomed for failure, so I’m not getting involved’? Well, what have you been doing, exactly?”
Christie was contrasting the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements, saying both stemmed from “anger” with government’s inability to respond to the financial crisis. But while Christie said “both parties deserve blame for what’s going on in Washington, D.C.,” he pointed the finger squarely at Obama for failing to strike a budget deal.
“Why the president of the United States refuses to do this is astonishing to me. If he wanted to run for Senate again and just be one of a hundred, I’m sure he could have gotten reelected over and over again in Illinois,” Christie said. “He’s the one in Washington, and he’s got to get something done here. And it’s not good enough just to say, ‘Well, I’ll get it done after the election.’ ”
Christie said that the template for fixing budget deficits existed at the state level, where balanced-budget requirements and divided governments often force governors and state legislatures to compromise.
“In New Jersey, the reason why they got done is because I called people into the room and said we’re going to solve this problem and I had people of good will on the other side who said they believed it was their obligation, regardless of party, to get done things like pension and benefit reform,” Christie said.
The popular and outspoken New Jersey governor has endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination for president.