Christie: I wouldn’t even let orphan toddler refugees into U.S.
Speaking on the Hugh Hewitt show Monday night, Gov. Chris Christie said he doesn't trust the Obama administration to effectively vet Syrians seeking refuge in the United States and the country should not admit any refugees, even orphan toddlers.
Christie's comments on the conservative radio talk show came in the wake of President Barack Obama's press conference Monday addressing the recent terrorist attacks in Paris as well as an announcement by French authorities that one of the attackers involved in the killed 129 people in Paris on Friday used a forged Syrian passport last month to pose as a migrant and enter Europe.
In his speech, Obama said, "What I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of 'American leadership' or 'America winning' or whatever other slogans they come up with that has no relationship to what is actually going to work to protect the American people."
When asked by the radio host if he would consider admitting orphans under the age of 5 to New Jersey, Christie insisted said "the fact is that we need appropriate vetting."
"I don’t think orphans under 5 are being, you know, should be admitted into the United States at this point. But you know, they have no family here. How are we going to care for these folks? The fact is you can come up with a number of different scenarios, Hugh," Christie said. "But in the end, I don’t trust this administration to effectively vet the people that they’re asking us to take in. We need to put the safety and security of the American people first."
Christie's comments were in contrast to statements he made on Sept. 8 on MSNBC, when he said the United States needed to make a determination as to how many refugees would be admitted. During his appearance on MSNBC, Christie referenced a photo of a Syrian toddler who drowned.
The governor also vowed to "sit down with our allies and figure out how we can help, because America is a compassionate country."
So far, 75 refugees have already arrived in New Jersey.
In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, several governors throughout the country have already threatened to halt efforts the federal government's efforts to permit 10,000 refugees from Syria into their states, with some issuing executive orders in an attempt to keep additional refugees out. Christie's fellow GOP candidates Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Ohio Gov. John Kasich are among the governors taking steps to keep the government from relocating the refugees to their states.
So far, Christie hasn't taken any official action to keep Syrian refugees out of the Garden State. To date, about 12 million Syrians have been forced to flee as the country's civil war continued. At least half of those forced from their homes are children. Millions have sought refuge in other countries.
Christie continued to criticize the Obama administration on the Hugh Hewitt show, saing Obama doesn't understand that "what the President’s first job is, is to protect the safety and the security of the American people."
"We need to start talking about what we need to do to act in the American interest. This president believes that global leadership is his fight on climate change while we have a quarter of a million people killed in Syria," Christie said. "And while we have now hundreds killed and wounded in the streets of Paris, atop of the things that have happened throughout his watch around the world on these issues."
Toniann Antonelli is the digital managing editor at NJ 101.5. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.