Chris Christie isn’t terribly impressed with leadership on either side of the aisle on Capitol Hill in the shutdown, but he’s even less impressed with leadership on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue. Appearing in a panel discussion at an event with the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, Christie was asked about the partisanship that divides Congress. Never mind the partisanship, Christie responded — where is the executive?
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says the shutdown in Washington can be blamed on everybody, but it is especially a failure of leadership on the part of the president.
“No matter where the partisanship is, the failure is in people not bringing people together to get it done. My approach would be, as the executive, is to call in the leaders of the Congress, the legislature, whatever you’re dealing with and say that we’re not leaving this room until we fix this problem. Because I’m the boss, I’m in charge,” Christie said hours before the government shut down on Monday night after Congress failed to reach a deal on funding. …
“When you’re the executive, if you’re waiting for leadership from the legislative branch of government … you’re going to be waiting forever,” Christie said. “While there’s blame to go around for the Republicans in the House for not coming to consensus even amongst themselves … and the Democrats in the Senate for not looking for ways to try to compromise with the Republicans in the House, there’s also blame that goes onto the president as well.”
Obama hinted yesterday that he might meet with Congressional leaders, but ran to the mikes — using Christie’s example — to scold from afar as his first impulse. He washed his hands of the fight, claiming that Congress had to get its act together, but that he wasn’t inclined to bargain, because “[k]eeping the people’s government open is not a concession to me.” Of course, that wasn’t a concession to Republicans, either, who wanted at the end to delay only the individual mandate requirement and force Congress to be subject to the same law it imposes on the people. Had Obama gotten involved, maybe he’d know the difference.