Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Christie Finds House Gop like 'Game of Thrones'

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Christie Finds House Gop like 'Game of Thrones'

Article excerpt

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Governor Christie derided House Republicans on Thursday, comparing their infighting to "Game of Thrones," an HBO fantasy show rife with palace intrigue, Machiavellian plots and assassinations.

Christie, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, said the American people were tired of the "ugly" drama in Congress that led Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to withdraw unexpectedly on Thursday from the race for speaker.

McCarthy's abrupt exit set off a scramble for the top job in the House. He had been expected to succeed Speaker John Boehner, R- Ohio, who was planning to retire in the coming weeks after years of struggling to unify the GOP caucus.

Republicans control both chambers of Congress, but the House contingent has become increasingly splintered between moderate lawmakers open to compromise with President Obama and conservatives who would prefer to buck the president on major issues. In the end, not even McCarthy, the GOP's current majority leader, could muster the 218 votes needed to become speaker.

For Christie, McCarthy's exit was the latest example of the egotistical "dysfunction" in Congress. He reacted to the news with weary indifference -- but he also seized on it to reinforce his own anti-Washington campaign message.

"Nobody in America cares," Christie told reporters after an event at a manufacturing plant.

"This is 'Game of Thrones,' " Christie said, referring to the bloody HBO drama. "Who's going to get the title, and who's going to sit in the special big chair, and who's going to get the great table at the restaurant in Washington. What the American people want is a Congress that actually does something."

Christie had not endorsed McCarthy and declined to say who should succeed Boehner. Instead, he called for a "strong" leader and urged Republicans to pass legislation that would repeal Obama's signature health-care legislation, the Affordable Care Act, and measures to restructure the federal tax code and defund Planned Parenthood. …

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