TRENTON – Why does Gov. Chris Christie like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president? Two words: executive experience.
Christie said Romney is the only GOP candidate with a plan for Day 1 in the Oval Office. Christie is endorsing Romney because he’s the candidate most reflective of the core conservative values: lower taxes, smaller government, less debt and deficit, liberty for growth, and “opportunity for everybody.”
Romney has been critical of government spending, but not as it relates to national defense. Asked whether he agreed, Christie said today that the nation needs to “get our domestic house in order” before worrying about military spending.
With Romney’s Mormonism being debased by a Texas pastor, religion has inserted itself in the political debate where Christie said “it has no place.”
“I don’t think it’s going to be that big of an issue,” he said in a conference call from New Hampshire. “It’s more constructive to look at their record, their character, their integrity…That’s what we should be talking about.”
Neither Romney nor Christie are darlings of social conservatives because of their history of supporting a woman’s right to an abortion, but Christie said – with so much economic pain being felt by Americans – it’s not the topic of choice for most of the far right supporters and Tea Party associates. “None of them ever talk to me about abortion,” he said.
More important to Christie is the policy plan that Romney has laid out. His first day in office, Christie said, Romney is prepared to offer waivers to each state for Medicare – or as Christie called it “Obamacare.”
“We’re applying for a waiver right now,” Christie said, with $300 million in the current budget riding on approval from the federal government.
Christie also likes Romney’s proposal for Medicaid block grants, which offer more state control over spending. “Whether you talk to Democratic or Republican governors,” he said, no one is against more local control over spending.
Romney is also not “in the pockets of the labor unions,” unlike President Barack Obama, Christie said. The candidate is ready to take charge of the big labor issues, like the National Labor Relations Board lawsuit filed against Boeing.