Christie on Trump’s abortion punishment comment: ‘I think he cleared it up’
Gov. Chris Christie says billionaire businessman Donald Trump, his candidate for president, sufficiently cleared up a controversy sparked Wednesday afternoon by his suggestion that women who obtain an abortion should be punished.
"I think he misspoke. I think he obviously misspoke," Christie said on "Ask The Governor."
"I think everybody in public life misspeaks. We certainly had Hillary Clinton do it many times over the course of this campaign," Christie said.
"My point is that he's no different than anybody else running. When you have a microphone in front of you a lot of times a day, every day, there are going to times you're going to misspeak," Christie said. "Now, if he didn't put out the statement afterwards and say, 'Listen, this is what I really mean,' then that would be different. But people misspeak all the time. But with him, everybody wants to make a bigger deal over it."
Trump told MSNBC Wednesday that abortion should be illegal and women who undergo the procedure should be punished, then backtracked in a prepared statement and said the doctor or person who performed the act would be the one held legally responsible.
"I think he's perfectly correct that if, in fact, there comes a time in this country when states are permitted once again to make abortion illegal, and someone were to perform an abortion, the person to be held responsible for that is the physician who performs the abortion and not a woman who quite frankly in my view, and I agree with him on this, is a victim there, as is the child in her womb," Christie said. "I think he cleared it up."
Christie said he didn't see Trump's remarks on MSNBC but did read his prepared statement afterwards.
It's not the only unusual controversy that has swirled around Trump in what has been an atypical campaign since it was launched last June:
- Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was charged Tuesday by police in Florida with simple battery for an altercation in which he grabbed a reporter questioning Trum as the candidate left an event. Trump is defending his aide and criticizing the reporter involved.
- After a super PAC opposed to Trump ran an ad featuring a provocative photo of Trump’s wife, Melania, Trump said erroneously that Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign was responsible and threatened to disclose something about Cruz’s wife, Heidi. Trump subsequently retweeted a supporter’s message that contained an image disparaging Mrs. Cruz’s appearance.
Christie said he has no campaign appearances for Trump planned currently and is working to line up slates of delegates and alternate delegates who will align with Trump in New Jersey's June 7 primary.
Christie ended his presidential campaign Feb. 10, one day after he finished a disappointing sixth in the New Hampshire primary. Two weeks later, on Feb. 26, he surprised political observers by endorsing Trump, who hasn’t gotten much support from mainstream, establishment Republicans.
Christie said he talks with Trump occasionally but doesn't call often.
"I have had my opportunities to call him and to give him my opinion and views on things that either he has said or to get him ready for things that I think he might be asked," said Christie, who said that's based on their 14-year relationship.
Christie has remained on the ballot in 22 states since dropping out of the race. To date he has gotten 52,615 votes nationally, one-quarter of 1 percent of the vote.