New Jersey Governor Chris Christie continued his staunch support of the government intelligence community and the Patriot Act as he continues to highlight his political platform ahead of his decision whether or not to run for president.
During a speech at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma, Christie recalled his own feelings during the 9/11 attacks as he tried for six hours to locate his wife who worked in the area.
“For the rest of my career, that day changed it,” he said, reminding the crowd that he was a Bush-appointed U.S. Attorney in New Jersey
“This is not a theory to me, everybody, this is not something you read in the history books. I went to the funerals, I lived it,” he said pointing out that he brought the first two terrorism cases post-9/11 out of New Jersey.
Christie took a shot at critics of the intelligence community and the Patriot Act, without specifically mentioning Sen. Rand Paul and others.
“This debate right now that we’re having right now about the Patriot Act and whether we should have strong intelligence around the world is a very dangerous debate,” he said. “Because it’s being done by people who have no experience dealing with what I’ve dealt with.”
He argued that while some critics criticize law enforcement for using the Patriot Act, he was the only potential candidate who actually had the experience of what it actually did.
“I’m the only person in this national conversation, at the moment, that has used the Patriot Act, signed off on it, and convicted terrorists because of it,” he asserted,
“The first job of a president of the United States is to protect the homeland and that’s what we need to do,” he added as the audience cheered and applauded.