Light Wave


Christie Takes on DeSantis - Vows To Focus on Big Issues Facing America

By Mara Lafontaine · July 24, 2023

In brief…

  • Former NJGovernor Chris Christie chided GOP rival Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for his handling of his state's controversial new school curriculum standards.
  • Christie called out DeSantis for shirking responsibility for the school curriculum's downplaying of the horrors of slavery
  • Christie said decisions regarding care for transgender youth should be made by parents with their children.
  • He warned that focusing on narrow culture debates comes at the expense of addressing the big issues that affect everyone, such as inflation and falling student test scores.
  • Christie condemned DOJ's handling of Hunter Biden's case as "incompetent.'
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie  Wiki Commons

Former New Jersey Governor and 2024 presidential candidate Chris Christie blasted GOP rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, for “micromanaging curriculum in schools” and not taking responsibility for Florida’s controversial new standards that many critics argue downplay the horrors of slavery. One of those standards requires teaching middle-school students that slaves acquired abilities through forced labor that, in some cases, could be useful to them personally.

“Governor DeSantis starts these things for political advantage… He tries to take political advantage of them, and then he says, ’I don’t know. I didn’t do it. I wasn’t involved!’ I mean, that’s not leadership,” Christie said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

On the issue of care for transgender youth, Christie said, “Parents should be making these decisions inside their families with their children,” arguing that politicians like DeSantis are doing a disservice by dwelling on highly politicized issues that affect a relatively small number of people. ”Over the last three years, less than a thousand minors who have been involved in this in terms of transitioning, in a country of 330 million people. That’s what I’m talking about in terms of small. It’s not that the issues don’t matter, it’s that they don’t matter to the great, vast number of people in this country who want to be helped.”  

Christie warned that focusing on such narrow issues allows politicians to avoid having to grapple with significant problems, such as runaway inflation and falling test scores in schools. “We’re dividing our country into smaller and smaller and smaller pieces, and politicians are pitting them against each other to create conflict. That’s not going to make the country bigger, better, stronger, or freer,” Christie said.

While acknowledging there are bigger issues facing Americans, Christie doesn’t see Hunter Biden’s recent plea deal as a trivial matter, calling the Justice Department’s handling of the case “incompetent,” and demanding further explanation from prosecutors. “It does not take five years to investigate two misdemeanor tax counts and to dismiss a gun charge,” said the former U.S. Attorney.

Christie then accused Democrats of trafficking in their own brand of hypocrisy, saying, “Democrats yell and scream for more new gun laws in the country. Yet you hear no Democrat yelling about the fact that Hunter Biden intentionally lied on his gun permit application, mishandled the gun after he received it with a false permit application, and faces absolutely no penalty. Guess what? The guy who sponsored that law was his father, Senator Joe Biden. And that charge carries a ten-year sentence.”

The former New Jersey governor has pursued a pugilistic, independent-minded campaign since he announced his presidential bid last month. Whether it will resonate with GOP primary voters remains to be seen.