Christie: Don’t pick members of Congress for POTUS

posted at 12:00 pm on March 18, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

I read a lot of complaints about Mitt Romney every week. (Many of them right here!) But whether you support him or not, Chris Christie clearly feels that Mitt has one thing going for him. Hey… at least he wasn’t a congressman.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stumped on behalf of Mitt Romney in a Chicago suburb today, telling the crowd packed into a student center at Elmhurst College that it would be a bad idea to send a member of Congress to the Oval Office.

“In our Republican primary, let’s be very leery, very wary of sending another member of Congress to the White House. Now see members of Congress they can be okay, but they don’t know the first thing most of the time about using executive authority. They don’t know the first thing about getting things done,” said Christie. “We don’t need Ron Paul, we don’t need Newt Gingrich , and we don’t need Rick Santorum. We need an executive. We need Mitt Romney in the White House.”

We don’t have a large sample to draw from in terms of men whose primary previous experience came from being members of Congress, though people from many different roles have held the office of President. We used to elect ambassadors to other nations on a fairly regular basis, but that pretty much ended with Buchanan. (George H.W. Bush was Ambassador to the UN, but he also served as VP and head of the CIA, so that doesn’t really count.) The last cabinet member to go straight to the Oval Office was Hoover. (Commerce) We’ve had three generals who never held elected office, with mixed results.

The only member of the House (who didn’t later move on to higher office) in living memory to serve was Ford, but he’s something of a wild card since he was never technically “elected” to anything except his House seat. And there aren’t many people left who could remember any Senators who moved on to the West Wing except for JFK and, of course, the current occupant.

So maybe Christie has a point. The Governor’s office is a far more common launching point, with nearly half of our presidents having held that office prior to being elected. But which governor is Christie really talking about here? Massachusetts or… New Jersey?


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Comment pages: 1 2

Blowhard Christie is only spewing this spin as a wedge issue against Santorum.

Sparky5253 on March 18, 2012 at 5:48 PM

In general I agree with him on the basic point of executive experience… Although if the member of Congress in question were Paul Ryan, I’d make an exception. Unless of course the Governor he were running against were Bobby Jindal.

Too bad we won’t have that choice to make until 2016, and only if we can survive another four years of disaster first.

Gingotts on March 18, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Hey, every time we’ve elected a governor of Massachusetts President, we’ve done pretty well.

DominusNovus on March 18, 2012 at 8:07 PM

Suspicions confirmed about Congressman, Christy has a point. Every once in awhile a Congress person is on TV spewing their guts about something really wacky and I think where in heck do they get these idiots. The Congress persons have a lot of help with over eleven thousand of them to guide them. Take a look. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_staff

mixplix on March 18, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Hey, up yours’ fat boy.

chewmeister on March 18, 2012 at 11:12 PM

This was actually the point i made 4 years ago when i was trying to get everyone i knew in iowa to work towards Mitt in the primary…experience is very important. Executive experience should not be learned once in the highest office, you should be ready on day 1. I have my issues with the current crop of governors (romney and Cristie are super liberal), but I wish the Repubs would make it a standard to nominate qualified candidates…not just DC politicos…as we can see congressmen are not the best at being president.

airmonkey on March 18, 2012 at 11:18 PM

I generally like the idea of hiring a former governor (former general comes in second) as our President…but I’m not enthralled with Mitt.

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 19, 2012 at 12:29 AM

I don’t think he’s wrong.

FineasFinn on March 19, 2012 at 8:24 AM

We’ve had three generals who never held elected office, with mixed results.

Are you sure the count is three? There’s Washington, Grant, and Eisenhower for sure. Did Andy Jackson hold elective office before he became president? Plus William Henry Harrison was a general (Battle of Tippecanoe) and while his presidency was short (that’s putting it mildly) he was president. Without doing any research I don’t recall him holding other elective office.

Fafhrd on March 19, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Christie is probably correct. It occurred to me that he might be laying the early groundwork for Christie 2016, but that’s OK we could certainly do worse. Witness our current situation, usurper obama, whose main skill seems to be jetting around the country, blowing then printing gobs more, money. A former governor as president…never really thought about that…but I know for sure that we don’t want no more “Community Organizers” for president. All this is assuming that America still exists in 2016.

uncle_fweddy on March 19, 2012 at 12:58 PM

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