New Jersey Governor and Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie criticized fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump’s and President Barack Obama’s handling of Vladimir Putin’s actions in the Middle East on Wednesday’s “Fox & Friends” on the Fox News Channel.
Christie said that Trump’s approach is “just wrong. I mean, do the American people really want the future of whether ISIS attacks the United States to be determined by Russia and Vladimir Putin? I mean, I don’t think so, and maybe, you know, this president is, you know, not pursuing ISIS the way he should. I don’t think he is, and hasn’t been. He called them the JV, and apparently Donald’s now in the same boat.”
He added, “40 years we’ve kept Russia out of the Middle East. 40 years we’ve kept them out of the Middle East, and this president is now going to let them back in? They’re teaming with Iran. Our good friends in Iran. All right? And now you look at it and you say we’re in the honeymoon period of this agreement with Iran, supposedly, and now they’re teaming with Russia to try to dominate the Middle East. That’s what this is the beginning of, and that’s what the American people need to understand, and any candidate for president needs to understand. This is the beginning of Russia trying to replace america as the major power in the Middle East.
Christie also stated that while the US’ fight against ISIS isn’t “effective, but the choice [is] that needs to become effective, not to turn it over to Russia. I mean, I don’t know about all of you, but I watched the interview with Vladimir Putin this weekend, and I said, ‘Listen, this guy is an articulate, smart, thug.’ And the fact is, he’s not going to be an easy adversary for us to deal with. We’re certainly ill -quipped by having a president, anybody else who thinks that we should allow Russia to take on ISIS, and we should take a back seat has this fundamental misunderstanding–.”
Later, when the discussion turned to Edward Snowden, Christie stated, “I’m not worried about what he’s doing on Twitter. I’m worrying what he did to United States national security. And by the way, let’s talk about this. Where is Edward Snowden right now? … so the guy that Donald Trump wants to turn over the fight to ISIS to is harboring Edward Snowden, who has done more damage to American national security in the last five years than any other person. This guy is a criminal, and he’s a traitor. And I don’t care whether he’s on Twitter or not, could we please start talking about something that’s important? And that’s what I’ve been trying to say during this campaign. You think people who are out there watching this morning really care whether Edward Snowden’s on Twitter? What they really care about is what he’s done to national security what this president permitted him to do, and the fact that now we have Russia harboring him and we’ve got president yesterday getting rolled over by Vladimir Putin, and this morning being ordered by Vladimir Putin. Imagine, we have an American president being ordered by Vladimir Putin, and a major presidential candidate who’s saying let’s turn over the fight to ISIS to Vladimir Putin.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett