Chris Christie gets his time in undercard GOP debate (WATCH)
The fourth Republican presidential debate Tuesday night in Milwaukee had Gov. Chris Christie on the undercard. He missed the cut for the main event, but might not have missed the mark with the extra time he was allotted at the so-called “kiddie table.”
Joining the New Jersey governor at the early forum were Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum. Christie spoke for roughly 14 minutes total.
The first debate question was thrown Christie’s way. He was asked about unemployment and taxes. He told the story of a woman in New Hampshire who told him how she’s always anxious. Christie said he has heard that type of story often. He then explained his plans to change the tax code and rein in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
"The American people feel the tax code is rigged for the rich and do you know why? Because it is," said Christie. “I’ll be firing a lot of IRS agents.”
The tax code would be easier to understand under his plan Christie insisted. He said tax returns could be done in 15 minutes.
Major points were scored by Christie when he was asked how he could beat Democrats, who are offering to give voters so many things for free, like education. This was what defined the governor’s performance and what is likely to get the most press for him. He said nothing is for free.
“I believe the greatness of America is not in its government. The greatness of America is in the American people. What we need to do is get the government the hell out of the way and let the American people win once again.” Christie said.
Jindal tried to make some headway by targeting Christie and the two went back and forth, but neither walked away with a win. Christie continued to stay on point and attack Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama while not bashing any Republicans including Jindal.
"Believe me, Hillary Clinton is coming for your wallets everybody. Don’t worry about Huckabee and Jindal, worry about her," Christie insisted.
The governor said on two occasions that he would prosecute Clinton in a debate forum if he was the GOP presidential nominee and on the stage with the former Secretary of State in September.
If the Chinese government hacked U.S. computers on his watch, Christie insisted he’d hack them back and release the information to the people of China and do a flyover in Air Force One. It was impossible to tell how much of his response was a joke and how much he might have actually meant.
"The first thing I'll do with the Chinese is I'll fly Air Force One over those islands. They'll know we mean business," Christie warned when answering a question about China's efforts to build islands in the South China Sea.
In his closing statement, Christie doubled down on bashing Democrats and giving Republicans a pass.
“I saw the most disgraceful thing I’ve seen in this entire campaign a few weeks ago,” Christie explained. “Hillary Clinton was asked the enemy she’s most proud of and she said Republicans. In a world where we have al Qeida and ISIS and Validimir Putin, the woman who asks to run and represent all of the United States says her greatest enemies are people like you in this audience and us here.”
The governor vowed to bring the country together if elected president.
Despite Christie’s perceived strong performance in the undercard event he did not get a single mention in the main prime-time debate with the top eight Republican presidential contenders. None of the GOP hopefuls talked about the New Jersey governor.
Kevin McArdle has covered the State House for New Jersey 101.5 news since 2002. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter at @kevinmcardle1.