Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Don't You Dare Call Chris Christie a Moderate

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Don't You Dare Call Chris Christie a Moderate

Article excerpt

GOVERNOR CHRISTIE is not a moderate. He'll tell you that straight off. In Mississippi on Tuesday, supposedly stumping for Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, Christie came close to "Hulking out," to borrow a phrase Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon used to describe Christie's occasional outbursts. When asked by a reporter about his moderate status among the field of possible Republican presidential candidates, Christie, as reported by The Record, had this exchange:

"Which moderate policies on social issues are you talking about?" Christie asked. "You know, I'm pro-life, I vetoed Planned Parenthood funding in my state five different times, I vetoed a [gun] clip reduction."

The reporter interjected, "What about gay marriage."

"I vetoed the gay marriage bill in New Jersey and fought it all the way to the New Jersey Supreme Court, so I don't know which moderate social issues you're all talking about," Christie said.

The reporter asked again, "So you're against gay marriage?" Christie replied, "I have always been, yes."

The women of New Jersey can now breathe a sigh of relief. Christie did not repeatedly veto a $7.5 million appropriation for women's health services because the state already funded similar services, as the governor had said previously. It was not women's health that was even on the governor's mind when he vetoed the bills, it was his health as a conservative candidate.

Planned Parenthood is anathema to conservatives and Christie is a real conservative. Got it. No matter that Planned Parenthood offers cancer screenings and provides information on contraception and reproductive choices, it all comes down to abortion. While Pope Francis asks, "Who am I to judge?" Christie states, "Look at my veto."

Vetoing bills that offer mostly poor women medical options is not a sign of conservatism, just political opportunism and perhaps meanness. Christie proclaims he is pro-life. Making it more difficult for low-income women to receive medical treatment and counseling is not life-affirming.

But the governor is not in the affirmation business, particularly when it comes to gay couples who want to get married. Some "moderate" folks have suggested that Christie left the door slightly open on same-sex marriage when he chose not to make one last legal appeal to the state Supreme Court. The justices had signaled in a related case that they would most likely not overturn a lower-court ruling allowing same-sex marriage in New Jersey.

The governor dropped the state's appeal because he knew he would lose. I have argued the marriage-equality issue with Christie, and he has been unequivocal in his one-man-one-woman position on marriage. There is no doubt in my mind that the governor has zero interest in seeing another point of view on marriage equality or that he believes he needs to win over gay voters. …

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