Christie in Nashville: Smacks Obama on Middle East Policy, Calls for Obamacare Repeal

Also says the gay-marriage debate isn’t over, oh, and that he still doesn’t know if he’s running in 2016.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks with reporters at the National Governors Association convention Saturday, July 12, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo | Mark Humphrey)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks with reporters at the National Governors Association convention Saturday, July 12, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo | Mark Humphrey)

Speaking to reporters Saturday at a conference of the National Governors Association in Nashville, Tennessee, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie continued to talk like a man with plans for a 2016 presidential run while finding new ways to be coy about actually committing to said presidential run. 

For starters, NJ.com reports that Christie took former BFF President Barack Obama to task for his foreign policy in the Middle East:

Gov. Chris Christie says the recent outbreak of violence in the Middle East was “caused in some measure” by President Obama’s failed leadership.

Christie called on Hamas to be “dealt with firmly” and charged Obama with allowing the conflict to escalate by not affirming the United States’ support for its ally Israel.

“I think the unrest you see in the Middle East is caused in some measure, not completely, but in some measure, by the fact that this president has not acted in a decisive and consistent way,” Christie said.

According to Politico, Christie also hacked away at Obamacare, calling it a “failure on a whole number of levels” and suggesting it should be repealed: 

The conversation, he said “must start from a position of repeal.”

“But it has to be repeal and replace with what. It can’t just be about repeal,” Christie said. “What I’ve said before is, what Republicans need to be doing is putting forth our alternatives for what should be a better health care system.”

Political also reports that Christie did a deft tip-toe around the lightning-rod issue of gay-marriage by suggesting that while the issue is “settled” in New Jersey, the debate is far from over: “I don’t think there’s some referee who stands up and says, ‘OK, now it’s time for you to change your opinion.’ … The country will resolve this over a period of time. But do I think it’s resolved? No.”

As to criticism of his decision to halt a court battle over the issue in New Jersey:

He said Saturday that he made the call because he would have lost anyway.

“When I know that I’ve been defeated, you don’t bang your head against the wall anymore and spend taxpayer money to do it.”

Despite his much-publicized upcoming trip to Iowa and continued strong polling in New Hampshire, Christie evaded being pinned down on his intentions for 2016. As per Politico:

“I’m gearing up to win as many governors races as I can this November, and I’ll make decisions about running for president after that.”

I guess we’ll all have to just wait and see. Oh, the suspense.

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