Republican presidential contender and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called out teachers’ unions in a new interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
During the interview, “State Of the Union” host Tapper referenced old comments that Christie had made about confronting bullies:
Tapper: “During your first term as governor, you were fond of saying that you can treat bullies in one of two ways – quote – ‘You can either sidle up to them or you can punch them in the face.’ You said, ‘I like to punch them in the face.’ At the national level, who deserves a punch in the face?"
Christie: “Oh, the national teachers union, who’s already endorsed Hillary Clinton 16, 17 months before the election."
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Christie: “Because they’re not for education for our children. They’re for greater membership, greater benefits, greater pay for their members. And they are the single most destructive force in public education in America. I’ve been saying that since 2009. I’ve got the scars to show it. But I’m never going to stop saying it because they never change their stripes.”
As expected, the president of the New Jersey Education Associated commented on Christie’s remarks in an unfavorable manner.
“Chris Christie’s instinct is always to threaten, bully, and intimidate instead of build consensus and show true leadership. That’s not news in New Jersey,” NJEA president Wendell Steinhauer said.
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The relationship between the teachers unions and Christie has been tempestuous right from the beginning of his first term as governor in January 2010. During his first term, Christie successful made a deal with the unions and state legislators to fix the pension system, but the plan failed two years later when the state budget did not allot the funds needed to cover the pension costs. Later, a state Supreme Court found in favor of Christie and said the initial plan was unconstitutional from the start, Politico reported.
In terms of his presidential campaign, Christie's no-nonsense straight talk has been overshadowed by that of businessman Donald Trump, who has taken the same approach. However, Christie will be seen in the more lucrative primetime Republican presidential debate airing on Fox News Aug. 6, which could give his campaign a much-needed boost.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia , CNN screenshot