Christie Says Obama Must ‘Get In and Lead’ to Stop Shutdown
Christie, a first-term Republican who prodded the state’s Democratic-led Legislature to make $10 billion in cuts in the current budget, said any disruption in the federal government would be a failure by the president and lawmakers.
“It would be a failure of everyone involved, of the Congress and the president, if they don’t get this done,” Christie, 48, said in excerpts of an interview with “ABC World News” scheduled to air today.
When asked by interviewer Diane Sawyer what he’d say to Republicans calling for a government shutdown, Christie said: “What I would say to all of them and I have a particular message for the president: He should get in and lead and bring them together.”
Republicans and Democrats in Congress are seeking to avoid a budget impasse that may lead to the first closure of U.S. government agencies in 15 years at the end of this week.
Obama invited Ohio Republican John Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, to meet with him and Vice President Joe Biden on the budget tonight at the White House.
‘Failure of Everybody’
Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for Christie, declined to say whether the governor’s comments extended to Boehner or other Republican leaders in Congress. He said the remark in the interview “stands for itself.”
“Shutdown is a failure of everybody, including the president,” Christie said. “Because in the end, we’re here to stand up for principles, to say the things that we believe in, but we’re also here to lead and run a government.”
Ben Dworkin, director of the Rebovich Institute of New Jersey Politics at Rider University in Lawrenceville, said it will be difficult for Christie to avoid getting “bogged down” in partisan battles.
“He’s succeeded politically by being able to lay blame at the feet of those who’ll be sitting across from him at the negotiating table,” Dworkin said in an interview.
During the interview Christie also said he doesn’t plan to challenge Obama for the White House in the 2012 election.
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