Monday on “America’s Newsroom” on the Fox News Channel, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), a candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, went on the offensive against his opponent Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), in an appearance from Council Bluffs, IA.
Christie was asked to respond to criticisms from Rubio about Christie’s stated support for then-Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor in 2009 by host Bill Hemmer. Christie denied that stated support was an indication of the kind of justice he would have nominated and then leveled an attack against Rubio regarding his lack of experience.
Partial transcript as follows:
HEMMER: Let’s talk about the issues now on the campaign trail. Marco Rubio is hitting you hard on Sonia Sotomayor. Apparently New Hampshire — he mentioned it at just about every stop, based on the reporting I get.
From July 2009 — this is what you said about her candidacy for the court. “I support her appointment to the Supreme Court and urge the Senate to keep politics out of the process and confirm her nomination.
“Qualified appointees should be confirmed and deserve bipartisan support. Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito deserve that support based on their work as circuit court judges. So does Judge Sotomayor. As a result, I support her confirmation.
“This is a historic moment and her inspiring success story should not only make the the Latino community proud, but all Americans.” Does Rubio have it right? Or what did you mean in 2009?
CHRISTIE: No, listen — Bill, I wish that you would read the statement we sent you from May when she was nominated, which was she’s not my kind of judge, she wouldn’t be my choice for the court.
And what I was saying then was those folks deserve an up or down vote after their confirmation. The same way Alito and Roberts were threatened by Democrats not to get an up or down vote — elections have consequences. And the president has the right to appoint his justices.
But I said very clearly in May that she was not my kind of judge. I would not have appointed her. And so what Senator Rubio is doing what — is what senators do all the time.
They talk and talk and talk and obfuscate and make sure that people don’t understand the full context of things, because they never have to be held accountable for anything. That’s the difference between senators and governors.
HEMMER: Just to put…
CHRISTIE: … this is a first-term senator…
HEMMER: … yeah.
CHRISTIE: … who’s still learning where the men’s room is in the Senate, let alone figuring out how to lead a country.
I agree with what Senator Rubio said himself. He said, just two weeks ago, senators and congressmen can’t solve America’s problems. I couldn’t agree with him more.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor