'This Week' Transcript: Geithner

TAPPER: Lastly, this has been an odd week for the Obama administration -- not necessarily for the Treasury Department, but for the Obama administration, given the whole kerfuffle with Shirley Sherrod and the Agriculture Department. President Obama has said this is a teaching moment for him and his administration. Secretary Vilsack said something similar.

Did you learn anything from watching your colleagues go through this?

GEITHNER: Well, as the president said, I think you saw a general rush to judgment everywhere -- in the press and outside the press. And I think I agree with it -- it's something that we should all take some caution from and look at these things carefully. But he spoke to that, I thought, well earlier this week.

TAPPER: Secretary Geithner, thanks so much for joining us.

GEITHNER: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: And joining me now is someone who also knows from budget challenges, New Jersey's Republican governor, Chris Christie. Governor, thank you so much. Welcome to "This Week."

CHRISTIE: I'm happy to be here.

TAPPER: So, Governor, your victory last November in the very blue state of New Jersey was heralded by Republicans nationally, seen as a blueprint for their victories. Now, a lot of Republicans who wanted you to win and admired your campaign said that you won mainly by criticizing incumbent Democratic Governor Corzine, not necessarily by a specific, detailed agenda.

And I'm wondering if, first of all, you agree with that. And, second of all, how do you see your victory in the context of what Republicans can do this November?

CHRISTIE: Well, first off, Jake, I think what we did in New Jersey last year was say very specifically what direction we wanted to take the state in. We said we wanted to have less spending, smaller government, lower taxes, and commonsense regulation that was going to help to grow private-sector jobs.

And so I didn't go line item by line item through the budget during a campaign, and I didn't think it was the right thing to do.

Now, in terms of what it tells us going forward, I think Republicans across the country need to get back to our brand, and I think that is the Republican brand. It's why I became a Republican: less government, lower taxes, less spending, and commonsense regulation that grows private-sector jobs.

And so I think if my win tells anything, it means if we get back to basics as Republicans, then we speak to some of the concerns people have in New Jersey and across the country.

TAPPER: You know, the biggest item on your agenda so far has been dealing with the budget and the huge deficit in New Jersey. Here you are on CNBC.


CHRISTIE: We passed a budget that cuts $11 billion from our state's budget, balances it without any new tax increases on the people of the state of New Jersey.


TAPPER: Now, Patrick Murray, director of polling at Monmouth University, says, quote, "That's a nice talking point, but it's absolutely untrue. There are a lot of legal obligations that the state has that the governor just simply ignored." And the Star-Ledger reported, "Budget analysts say the $11 billion deficit was closed largely by avoiding massive costs. The budget skipped a $3.1 billion payment to the pension fund, continuing a decade-long pattern Christie had criticized, and did not pay $1.7 billion to schools under the state's formula for education aid."

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