Chris Christie on War & Peace



There'll be no peace in Syria while Assad is in charge

He's killed, now, over a quarter of a million of his own people, and this president has done nothing. In fact, he's done worse than nothing. We have the Russians and the Iranians working together, not to fight ISIS, but to prop up Assad. You're not going to have peace in Syria with Assad in charge.
Source: Fox Business Republican 2-tier debate , Jan 14, 2016

Declare no-fly zone in Syria and enforce against Russians

Q: If the U.S. imposed a no-fly zone over Syria and a Russian plane encroached on that no-fly zone, would you be prepared to shoot down that Russian plane and risk war with Russia?

CHRISTIE: Not only would I be prepared to do it, I would do it. A no-fly zone means a no-fly zone. That's what it means. See, maybe because I'm from New Jersey, I just have this kind of plain language hangup. But I would make very clear--I'd say to Vladimir Putin, "Listen, there's a no-fly zone in Syria; you fly in, it applies to you." And yes, we would shoot down the planes of Russian pilots if in fact they were stupid enough to think that this president was the same feckless weakling that the president we have in the Oval Office is right now.

PAUL: Well, I think if you're in favor of World War III, you have your candidate. Russia already flies in that airspace. If we announce we're going to have a no-fly zone, it is a recipe for disaster. It's a recipe for World War III.

Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican two-tier debate , Dec 15, 2015

Change rules of engagement to more effectively fight ISIS

Q: A few days ago, when I was Paris, I interviewed Brett McGurk. He's the president's special envoy to the coalition to fight ISIS.I asked him about the air campaign against ISIS, and he acknowledged "We're careful about civilian casualties; collateral damage is something that matters to us."Do you think, as commander in chief, the rules of engagement should be changed, even if it puts civilians more at risk?

CHRISTIE: ISIS doesn't seem to be concerned about civilian casualties. We need to get real about this; we need to bring our allies together and revise rules of engagement to make sure that what we're doing is taking on ISIS in a significant, direct way that will be effective. So, this administration has no credibility in giving us any type of assessment of how this is going. We have the attacks in Mali now. Obama said al Qaeda was on the run. Obviously, that's wrong as well.

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 22, 2015

I'll fly Air Force One over China's artificial islands

The Chinese don't take us seriously and why should they? What has this president done? Not one thing. Let me be really clear about what I would do. If the Chinese commit cyberwarfare against us, they are going to see cyberwarfare like they have never seen before. And that is a closed society in China, where they're hiding information from their own people, the information we take, we'll make sure all the Chinese people see it. Then they'll have some real fun in Beijing when we start showing them how they're spending their money in China.

And they're building those artificial islands in the South China Sea and the president, up until recently, wouldn't sail a ship within 12 miles or fly a plane over it. I'll tell you this, 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.

Source: 2015 Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier GOP debate , Nov 10, 2015

We need anytime/anywhere inspections for Iran nukes

Q: Ted Cruz said that if the Iran deal is consummated, it will make the Obama administration "the world's leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism" because of the sanction relief. Mitt Romney, who opposes the Iran deal, said that this rhetoric way over the line. What do you think?

A: Let's talk the facts of the deal. We shouldn't be getting the hyperbole. The fact that we have to wait 24 days to inspect a site if the Iranians object is outrageous. That would be like me getting a search warrant, coming to somebody's house who I think is committing a crime and saying, here, I have got a search warrant, I will be back in 24 days to search.

Q: Well, if it was a radioactive crime, the inspectors say that they would be able to discern whether or not there was radioactive material there 24 days later.

A: The president promised any time anywhere. And you cannot tell me that, in 24 days, the Iranians cannot move the elements of cheating from one area to another.

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

Be ready to send American troops to fight ISIL

Christie said in May that the president should stop all negotiations with Iran. In April, Christie said any nuclear pact with Iran would be a mistake.

On Israel, Christie has criticized President Obama's treatment of Israel during his tenure as president. In 2014, he apologized for using the term "occupied territories" to refer to West Bank.

In April, Christie said that the U.S. must be ready to send American troops to fight Islamic State. In May, Christie criticized President Obama's handling of U.S. defense policy and said he would expand the American military. Christie said that invading Iraq in 2003 was the wrong choice, knowing what we know today

Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series , Jun 30, 2015

Syria: If we draw a red line, we must finish the job

Christie expressed confidence that his brand of resolute, no-nonsense foreign policy would have avoided the dilemma the United States faced when Syria deployed chemical weapons against its own citizens in the civil war. Christie said he would have never drawn a "red line," as Obama did with President Bashar al-Assad, but, "if you do, you better finish the job."
Source: N. Y. Times 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 2, 2014

Governors shouldn't offer opinions about Syria

Q: A deal to freeze Iran's nuclear program has fallen apart. Your take?

CHRISTIE: You know, I'm the governor of New Jersey. There a lot of people who are significantly better briefed on this than I am. And I think when guys like me start to shoot off on opinions about this kind of stuff, it's really ill-advised. So I'll leave it to Secretary Kerry and the folks that are in charge of this to make decisions about where we go. And then once they put something together, if they do, then I'll make a judgment on that. But it's just I'm not the right person to be asking that question to, with all due respect.

Q: But you're a national political figure. You're a leader in the Republican Party. You may someday run for president. Do you have a view about whether Iran should continue to enrich uranium?

CHRISTIE: Like I said, I think the folks who are involved in this on a day to day basis should be making those kind of opinions known publicly. I'm just not going to engage in that.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2013 series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 10, 2013

America and Israel share beliefs and share enemies

Israel's enemies hate her for the same reason they hate America. There's a reason that America is referred to as the "Great Satan" and Israel is referred to as "Little Satan." We both believe in self-government, we both believe in democracy and unalienable rights. From what I understand, the Knesset and Israel's free, vibrant news media make Trenton seems like a cordial and sleepy atmosphere.

Americans and Israelis both believe in free enterprise, accountability, in transparency, and in rewarding excellence. We both believe in the rule of law and limits on the power of the state. We both believe in peace through strength.

Since September 2000, 1,218 Israeli civilians have been killed in terror attacks. That would be the equivalent of over 48,000 Americans murdered by terrorists in the same period.

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

Iranian nukes are profoundly against our national security

Stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability must be a top priority of the United States of America. Any president, Republican or Democrat, who allows such a thing to occur on his watch, would be acting in a way that is profoundly against the national security interests of the US and the security interests of our friends in Israel.

[Washington policymakers should] tell the truth about the difficulty of the solutions. We need to speak that truth out loud. It makes us uncomfortable. It is a difficult set of words to string together, but we know that ignoring it will not make it go away, any more than ignoring our problems at home will make them go away either. America needs no introduction, but it is time that we start to live up to our greatness again, by telling the truth to each other and being willing to listen to those hard truths. There is simply nothing more important if America wants to continue to lead a free and hopeful world.

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

I'm not a nation-building guy; we've achieved Afghan goals

Q: In Afghanistan, do you think the president is pulling troops out too fast?

A: You know, as the governor of New Jersey, I got to tell you, I'm not going to put my judgment in place of the president of the United States who is briefed on this much more extensively than I am. And so I'm just not going to go there with that.

Q: You said that you wouldn't have pulled troops out.

A: I'm not a nation-building guy. And I do think that we have achieved a lot of what we wanted to achieve in Afghanistan, especially after the murder of bin Laden. But he knows a lot more about this than I do. I'm not going to go down that road.

Source: Interview on NBC "Meet the Press" , Jun 26, 2011

Don't pull troops out of Afghanistan until military says so

Q: Would you pull the troops out of Afghanistan now?

A: You know, I wouldn't do it now, but I would be guided by what our military advisers told us to do. But I do think that capturing bin laden and killing Bin Laden was one of the real goals of the original Afghanistan intervention. and I'm not a nation-building kind of guy.

Q: But Americans have to be by default the world's policemen. and a lot of Americans I talked to are getting a bit fed up with spending all this money when there are so many problems at home, on being the world's policemen. There are other superpowers emerging. Would you like to see a spreading of that load going forward where America's not the go-to country? For military support, for helping out with despotic regimes and so on?

Q: Well, America's always got to be the leader in that regard.

Q: Does it have to be?

A: I think it does.

Source: Interview on CNN "Piers Morgan Tonight" , Jun 15, 2011

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Page last updated: Jun 15, 2016