New Jersey Governor Chris Christie declined to back former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani after he suggested that President Obama and Al Sharpton were responsible for creating an anti-police sentiment that led to the murders of two NYPD officers.
Christie was asked about Giuliani’s remarks during a local New Jersey interview on WNET-NJTV, with Steve Adubato.
Christie replied that he was disturbed by the political debate during a tragedy that occurred so close to Christmas.
“Well, I’ll tell you this, one of the things that disturbs me about the entire conversation that we’re having right now is that it seems like lots of people are trying to score political points here,” he said. “And what I’m thinking about as we sit three days away from Christmas are those two families of those two police officers who will not have them at their dinner table at Christmastime.”
Christie called for Americans to “take a deep breath” and pray for the families who lost their loved ones.
“There’s plenty of time for us to discuss it but, I’m not going to be someone who’s going to participate in this at the moment,” he said. “I’d rather allow these police officers to be laid to rest, let these families grieve and have all of us as a society think about what that means.”
When pressed by Adubato, on how to improve the relationship between the black community and police officers, Christie explained that all governments should work hard to not only re-establish law and order, but to build trust within the communities.
“I think less talking and more doing,” Christie said, pointing to the efforts made in the city of Camden, New Jersey – where murders are down 58 percent and 400 police officers on the street.
He pointed out that police officers there were dressing as Santa Claus and going door to door in underprivileged neighborhoods and giving gifts to children.
“They want to make the community part of the law enforcement community, and they want to build trust and respect between the citizens and themselves, and the citizens are participating and benefiting,” he said, pointing to the model for the country going forward.
Christie also denounced Joanne Chesimard, a member of the Black Liberation Army who killed a New Jersey police officer in 1973 before fleeing to Cuba for asylum.
He criticized the president for negotiating an “awful deal” with Cuba, without asking for the return of Chesimard to face justice.
“One of our state troopers was murdered in cold blood, his killer was convicted, and these thugs in Cuba have given her political asylum for 30 years,” he said. “It’s unacceptable and I’m going to continue to speak out.”