New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie weighed in on the budget impasse on Capitol Hill on Wednesday when he was asked by a reporter if a government shutdown and debt limit crisis would hurt the economy.
“I don’t think it’s ever good to keep the government closed when your job is to run the government,” Christie told reporters.
Over the past week, Christie has briefly touched on the government shutdown, saying he believes it’s the responsibility of the president to lead the charge in solving the crisis.
“My approach would be, as the executive, is to call in the leaders of the Congress, the legislature, whatever you’re dealing with and say that we’re not leaving this room until we fix this problem. Because I’m the boss, I’m in charge,” Christie said at an event the day before the shutdown. “When you’re the executive, if you’re waiting for leadership from the legislative branch of government, whether you’re a governor or whether you’re the president, or whether you’re the mayor, you are going to be waiting forever, forever because they’re not built to lead and take risks.”
Christie was on Capitol Hill to meet with Sen. Jeff Chiesa, R-N.J., whom he appointed to the New Jersey Senate seat after the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. But Christie decided to stop for an unplanned “courtesy visit” with a group of GOP senators, which included Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.).
“I’m trying to be reelected as governor and my job is to work on the problems of New Jersey. That’s what I’m doing,” Christie told reporters. “I’m just down here today to have a visit with [Senator Chiesa], and he’s introduced me to some of the new friends he’s made over the last four and a half months, and that’s all today is about.”
After the meeting, Thune told reporters the budget impasse didn’t come up in the conversation with Christie. Asked if the fight over the debt ceiling and shutdown gives Christie room to run for president as a pragmatist in 2016 compared with some potential presidential contenders in the Senate, Thune said, “I think he’s got a great record in New Jersey. If he runs, he’d be a very formidable candidate.”
As he climbed into his SUV, Christie thanked reporters for following him around the Capitol.
“All this attention is really just so flattering. I appreciate it,” he said.