Presidential Candidate: Chris Christie

By Ashley Bean Thornton

Chris Christie Campaign website: Chris Christie for President – Because the Truth Matters

I have been summarizing the opening campaign speeches from the presidential candidates. I have been trying to sift through the campaign rhetoric to pick out what they are saying about issues and what they actually plan to do if they are elected.  Chris Christie launched his campaign with a townhall meeting instead of a speech. So, he only talked about issues that the audience asked about.   I have shortened and paraphrased some, but I tried to stick pretty close to his own words and to be fair in summarizing what I assume to be his platform for 2024.   I tried to include as much about how he plans to do these things as I was able to deduce from his responses during the town hall. Perhaps because of the town hall format, or perhaps because of Christie’s personality, his answers are not as succinct as the ones I was able to pull out for the other candidates so far. – ABT

Here is the link I used: Chris Christie Presidential Announcement – 6.7.23

What he says he has done (as Governor of New Jersey)…

  • Lead the state through the worst natural disaster that it ever had.
  • Capped property taxes at two percent that had averaged a seven percent increase for the ten years before I was governor
  • Saved 150 billion dollars on our pension and health benefits system because I compromised with the Democrats

What he says he would do…

Abortion – The Dobbs decision was the right decision because Roe Vs. Wade was constitutionally flawed.  Dobbs sent the decision about abortion back to the states, closer to the local voters, which is where it belongs because that is closer to the local culture, mores and values. I am pro-life in my heart, but even more important than what is in my heart is that I believe in the constitution and the rule of law, and that means the people of the state get to decide how they want to deal with this really difficult, horrible decision. It’s a fraught, moral decision and I think that is best dealt with by people at the state level.  In America people have the right to stay and fight in their state or pick up and move to a state where their ideas are more the norm.  That is why it is better to decide it state my state, instead of just flipping it back and forth depending on if conservatives or liberals are in charge of the federal government.

Foreign policy – The first rule for American foreign policy is we must be honest and credible.  We believe in freedom and democracy, and we’ll support those who do the same. When we make a promise to a friend, we’ll keep that promise.  “America first” is a ridiculous statement, because of course everyone is going to agree with “America first.”  The question is how to do it.  Some people say fill the moat and pull up the drawbridge. When we stop engaging with the world, we are no longer going to be the biggest economy in the world. American foreign policy is complicated, very complicated but in another sense, it’s very simple. The more friends you have in a finite world, the better off you’re going to be, and sometimes that friendship costs.  It costs having to provide arms. It costs having to provide economic aid, and it costs in having to provide comfort to people who are in trouble.

I don’t think we should be dictating to other countries around the world. We should be trying to provide an example that they want to emulate, not dictating to them what their government should be.

Ukraine – Putin is a thug.  The war in Ukraine is an act of dictatorial aggression. If you don’t think Putin is as bad as Hitler, you’re wrong because Putin kills his own people in his own country based on their religious views, based on their political views, based on anything that disagrees with him.  We have to stand up to this.  America’s greatness comes from its friendships.  We have to stand up for our friends.

China – China is supporting Russia. The war in Ukraine is a proxy for a war between the United States and China.  It is similar to the situation with China and Taiwan.  The majority of the semiconductors in the world are made in Taiwan. We don’t want China to control that.

We cannot isolate China.  They are the second largest economy in the world.  But, up to now we have been giving them advantages because they were considered a “developing country.”  The time for those advantages is over.  I’m willing to have a fair relationship with China, but it’s got to be a fair relationship.  They should abide by the fair trading rules they agreed to follow when they joined the World Trade Organization.  They need to understand that if they want to continue flouting those rules – blocking things, encouraging other countries to denounce the United States – that we will do those things back.  We are not putting up a wall and saying we won’t do business, that would be destructive to both of us.  We need to make this a level playing field.  They have respect for our intellectual property, and we have respect for theirs.  They have respect for our manufacturing and we respect theirs.  Respect for their ability to trade and respect for hours.  You are much less likely to go to war with someone who respects you.  We need to rebuild that respect with China in both directions.

Price of Pharmaceuticals – I think everybody goes to the extremes on these issues.  Some people don’t want any controls on the pharmaceutical industry. Some people want to control prices and control what goes to the pharmaceutical industry in terms of profits. We have to find a balance between price and innovation. Our system is built on the idea that if you take risk you may lose, but if you win, you’ll win big. We should continue to have that incentive.

But we can help regulate waste.  I think prescription drug commercials, for example, are an incredible waste, and I think there are other places where they waste as well.

The real evil agents in all this are the pharmacy benefit managers. They are the middlemen between the pharmaceutical industry and the insurance company and your local pharmacy.  The pharmaceutical industry gives hundreds of millions of dollars if not billions of dollars every year in discounts off of their drugs.  Guess who keeps most of the discounts? The pharmacy benefit managers. We need common sense reform of that.  So those are two ideas, eliminate advertising and regulate pharmacy benefit managers can help bring down prices while not destroying the Ingenuity and the inventiveness of the American pharmaceutical industry.

Education – One of the priorities for the first hundred days would be to pass a bill on federal tax credits for educational choice.  You should not be stuck with whatever education you get because you’re not well off.

Social Security – In seven years Social Security is going to be broke if we don’t do something about it.  Then everyone’s going to get a 25% reduction in benefits immediately, that’s written into the law.  We need to deal with Social Security and have a bipartisan conversation about how to fix it because seven years is not a long way away.

Job Growth – We have to be able to encourage job growth in this country because jobs are changing so rapidly, especially post-pandemic.  I think the best way to do that is to lower regulations in this country and let entrepreneurs create jobs.  One of America’s greatnesses is that we continue to evolve and grow and get bigger and better and find out how to use new technology to be able to grow but we can’t do that if our entrepreneurs are spending a third of their time filling out forms for the government who is telling them what they can’t do.

Bipartisanship & Compromise – I won’t apologize for saying what I say and believing what I believe but I also will not condemn someone else for having a different opinion. First, I’ll try to convince them they’re wrong and try to get them on my side. If that fails, then it’s my job as the executive leader of the government to find a place where we can meet somewhere near the middle. That way we can at least partially resolve that issue and move on to the next one. If we don’t, we’re going to stay in neutral,  and countries who are neutral by definition get smaller, and less significant, less prosperous,  and less free.




  1. Carol Munn on June 9, 2023 at 6:37 pm

    Great work, Ashley! This is very clear and very helpful.

  2. George Herndon on June 10, 2023 at 9:56 am

    Well done Ashley!

    I think its important to note that New Jersey has some towns and cities that regularly make lists of worst places to live. What did Christie do to solve the problems of the average resident of his state?

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