CHRISTIE: That's good. Well, then -- well, and you -- and, listen, and teachers go into knowing what the pay scale is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: I know you said your issue is with teachers' unions and not with individual teachers, but what do you say to residents of your state who say that they like your stance on taking on the teachers' unions, but a clip like that makes it seems like you don't really respect the teaching profession.
CHRISTIE: Well, I do respect the teaching profession. I'm a product of the public schools in the state of New Jersey, and I care deeply about our public education.
But here's what we can't have any longer: We can't have one sector of our society sheltered from the ravages of the recession at the cost to the people who have been hurt by the recession the most.
For instance, the building trade unions in our state, they have unemployment at 35 percent to 50 percent. They're getting no raises. They're getting no benefits any longer, yet their property taxes continue to go up to pay for 4 percent and 5 percent salary increases demanded by the teachers' unions in a 0 percent inflation world and that most of the teachers in New Jersey, because of their unions, pay nothing towards their health benefits from the day they're hired until the day they die.
Now, I have to tell you, Jake, we can't have one set of rules for one small sector -- the public sector unions -- and a different set of rules for everyone who's being hurt by this recession and say that those people are being hurt the most by the recession. By the way, you pay for this special treatment.
I mean, now, that may be tough talk to people, and it's direct, but candidly, that's what we have to do if we want to get budgets under control in New Jersey and around the country.
TAPPER: You're -- you've been known in the statehouse and nationally for a blunt style. Here's an example of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: Like it or not, you guys are stuck with me for four years, and I'm going to say things directly. When you ask me questions, I'm going to answer them directly, straightly, bluntly, and nobody in New Jersey is going to have to wonder where I am on an issue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: That's a high bar, so let's do it. Directly, straightly, bluntly, should New Jersey join the lawsuit that other states have filed against the Obama administration over the individual mandate in the health care reform bill?
CHRISTIE: I have both my attorney general and my commissioner of health studying two things: first, what are the chances of succeeding in the lawsuit? Because with limited resources in New Jersey, I'm not going to throw good money after bad. And, secondly, what's the effect of this 2,000-page bill going to be on the people of New Jersey? When I get answers back from them, I'll make a decision.
TAPPER: What's your impulse?
CHRISTIE: I don't have an impulse. I'm waiting to get briefed on it.
TAPPER: Immigration reform. You've said this issue is too important to demagogue. Who is demagoguing in the Senate right now? And what is the solution to immigration reform?
CHRISTIE: Well, first of all, on demagoguing, I wasn't talking about anything that's going on now. That's a 2-year-old quote, and there were some things going on in New Jersey at the time while I was U.S. attorney that I thought was demagoguery, and I called it that.