Chris Christie on Foreign Policy



World has fewer democracies than before Obama

Gov. Christie asserted, "After Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama...we have fewer democracies in the world than we had when they started." Is it true? We checked with the Freedom House report "Freedom in the World," which rates countries as free, partly free, or not free. Comparing the number of countries:
Partly free6055
Not free4351
In conclusion, yes, Christie's assessment is correct. But look at the four countries which switched from free to not fully free: Indonesia; Mali; Mexico; Ukraine. And in the other direction, these three countries moved up to fully free: Tunisia; Montenegro; Tonga. Perhaps Obama/Clinton may have been able to help Ukraine and maybe Mexico, but Christie's complaint implies he thinks Obama/Clinton should have helped...Indonesia? Tonga? Montenegro? We rate Christie's comment "true but irrelevant."
Source: OnTheIssues FactChecking on Fox Business 2016 GOP debate , Jan 15, 2016

Talk to our allies & foes, & keep our word, like I always do

Q: When should a president use military action?

A: There's a number of things that the next president is going to have to do to clean up this mess. We have to strengthen our alliances. The best way to do that is to start talking to our allies and having them be able to count on our word. One thing they've never said about me is that I'm misunderstood. Next, we have to talk to our adversaries, and we have to make sure they understand the limits of our patience.

Source: Fox Business Republican 2-tier debate , Jan 14, 2016

Push Russia out of Middle East; establish US dominance

Q: Let's talk about Syria. Vladimir Putin going in aggressively this week, two or three days of air strikes. If you were president, what would you do?

CHRISTIE: Well, we don't need to be friends with Vladimir Putin and we don't need to be worried about whether he's in a quagmire. After 40 years, we allowed Russia back into the Middle East. And now who are they partnered with? Iran.

Q: So how do you push them out?

CHRISTIE: America's got to re-establish its presence in that area. We should be the ones leading the fight on ISIS. And by the way, we know Putin's not fighting ISIS. Putin's there to prop up Assad.

Q: Would you put in a no-fly zone?

CHRISTIE: Absolutely. And I'll tell you this, there's now 300,000 nearly dead in Syria because of Assad and now Putin is going in and teaming with the Iranians to prop up Assad.

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interview by Martha Raddatz , Oct 4, 2015

No relations with Cuba until they stop harboring fugitives

Q: The Pope helped broker diplomatic relations between the US and the communist leadership of Cuba. Do you think the Pope made a mistake?

Christie: I think the Pope was wrong. I just believe that when you have a government that is harboring fugitives, murdering fugitives like Joanne Chesimard--who murdered a state policemen--that this president could extend diplomatic relations in that country without getting her returned so that she can serve the prison sentence, is outrageous

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 20, 2015

I won't deal with or even meet with countries that hate us

I will not shake hands with, I will not meet with, and I will not agree to anything with a country that says death to us and death to Israel and holds our hostages while we sign agreements with them. It will be an America that be strong and resolute, and will once again be able to stick out its chest and say, "we truly are the greatest nation in the world, because we live our lives that way, each and every day."
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

Stop worrying about being loved; instead be respected

I'm a conservative, pro-life governor in a state where it is really tough to be both. A state like New Jersey, with lots of Democrats, but still we cut taxes, we balanced budgets. We fought the teacher's union. This president has had weak leadership, which has led to bad choices. We have got to stop worrying about being loved and start worrying about being respected. And that's exactly how I'll lead our country.
Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

Arm Emiratis, Jordanians, & others before sending US troops

Q: you have said that we have to be willing to put boots on the ground to fight ISIS, what is the threshold?

A: My first alternative and preferred alternative is to arm the Jordanians, the Egyptians, the Emiratis and the Saudis to bring this fight to those folks. They need more help. They need better arms. They need more support from an intelligence perspective and they need to know that America's going to stand with them when the polls are up or down.

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 2, 2015

Tourism money won't end up with the people of Cuba

Q: You say Cuba needs to change its behavior before the US should extend any sort of olive branch. The argument from the Obama administration is, that's what we have been doing for decades and it's not working.

A: What he's doing is not going to work, to absolutely just cave in the Cubans. The fact is that we're now going to send hundreds of millions of dollars down to Cuba in tourist activity and economic activity and none of that is going to get to the people of Cuba.

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 2, 2015

Given who I am, Putin would not have invaded Crimea

A few days after Russian forces invaded Crimea, Gov. Chris Christie was asked at a confidential meeting how he would have handled the situation differently from President Obama.

According to an audio recording of the event, he said Putin had taken the measure of Obama. "I don't believe, given who I am, that he would make the same judgment," Christie said. "Let's leave it at that." One attendee described Christie's answer as disturbingly heavy on swagger and light on substance.

Christie places tremendous value on the personal projection of authority, as evidenced by his suggestion that Putin would think twice about challenging him. "Foreign policy, in my view, is about human relationships," Christie said at an American Enterprise Institute conference. "Men and women across the world judge each other," Christie said, "and they take a measure of the person based on your actions and your words." With Obama, he said mockingly, "words matter more to him than actions."

Source: N. Y. Times 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 2, 2014

America should be clear to world about what we stand for

Christie took pains to explain that it was "irresponsible" for him, a mere governor without access to top-secret briefings, to criticize Mr. Obama's approach to foreign policy (earning warm applause in the process).

Moments later, he seemed to disregard his own mantra, saying: "I do detect some confusion in the world about who we are and what we stand for. That needs to be clear."

Source: NY Times on "NY Region" in 2013, 2016 presidential hopefuls , Feb 12, 2014

New isolationism, & reducing anti-terrorism, is dangerous

The increasing popularity of libertarian figures like Senator Rand Paul seemed to indicate that the Republican Party was abandoning its long stance as the political bulwark of a strong America in favor of a new isolationism.

But yesterday , speaking at the Aspen Institute, NJ Governor Chris Christie denounced the effort to pull back on anti-terror measures as "dangerous" and warned that those--like Paul--who are attempting to craft an American retreat from the world are playing with fire. In speaking in this manner, Christie put himself on record as endorsing the policies of President George W. Bush that have been largely continued by President Obama as necessary, and served notice that Paul will be strongly opposed by Republicans who don't want their party to be hijacked by isolationists. In doing so, Christie not only indicated that he is prepared to run in part on foreign policy issues but may embolden other possible candidates with similar views to his on this question.

Source: Jonathan S. Tobin in Commentary Magazine , Jul 26, 2013

Remain vigilant but stay connected to rest of the world

We can't pull up the drawbridge that connects America to the rest of the world. That simply doesn't work. And as we learned to our horror a decade ago, we as a country and a people are vulnerable to terrorists armed with box cutters, bombs, and viruses, be they computer generated or man-made.

Out of the rubble and the ruins, and out of the destruction, we were reminded that evil men guided by an evil ideology can do great harm to us; that no nation, no state, and no city is beyond their reach. And so we need to remain vigilant together and be prepared to act together with our friends and allies to discourage, deter and defend against aggressors all across the world against our nation and Israel.

Source: Speech at 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 10, 2012

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Page last updated: Jun 15, 2016