New Jersey Governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate Chris Christie said during a television appears that he has no apologies for being a pro-life governor. He said his pro-life stance didn’t “bog me down” in addressing other important political and financial issues.
In the CNBC interview, Christie pitched his no-nonsense brand of compassionate conservatism as the cure to Republicans’ presidential woes, ahead of 2016. He advocated avoiding the kind of social issue debates that have derailed many GOP candidates in the past as he boasted about his track record of earning votes from Independents, women, and Hispanics in an “enormously blue state.”
“If you allow yourself to get bogged down you will get bogged down,” he said. The panel then asked Christie about the Hobby Lobby ruling, which will allow for-profit companies to avoid paying for contraceptives for employees on religious grounds.
“Why should I give an opinion on whether they’re right or wrong … it’s now the law of the land. This is how you get bogged down,” he said. “That’s not the most central issue we should talk about today.”
Christie continued to press his case that he is pro-life from conception to death, such as his stance on helping drug users with treatment not prison.
“If you’re pro-life, you need to be pro-life for the whole life not just while they’re in the womb. Sometimes … it’s messy.”
Christie is pro-life and vetoed Planned Parenthood funding five times before he ran for re-election in a state that is not known as a bastion of conservatism. Christie won 56% of women, 45% of Hispanics, and 21% of black voters, according to CNN exit polling data.
Christie has delighted pro-life advocates on multiple occasions by vetoing bills handed to him by the state legislature that would force state taxpayers to finance the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
Christie earned high praise from pro-life advocates, saying it didn’t need taxpayer funds in part because clinics are available across the state that provide health care for women without also doing abortions and because the state is facing a tough financial crunch.
“I first want to thank you for acting on our Alert to urge the Governor to veto S788/A3204, the bill which would provide $7.5M in taxpayer funds to Planned Parenthood, Marie Tasy of New Jersey Right to Life said in an email message to members. “The Governor heard our message loud and clear! Just this afternoon, Governor Christie vetoed the bill, along with other supplemental bills passed last week.”
In August 2012, Christie visited the Southern Jersey Family Medical Center’s Burlington City Health Center to kick off National Health Center Week.
“The Burlington City Health Center and all of our New Jersey community health centers are an essential part of our health safety net for those who otherwise would not have a medical home,” Christie said, according to Newsroom Jersey. “These centers offer affordable, high-quality care to residents and families in need. I am proud of the strong support my administration has provided for community health centers in the budget – $113 million in Medicaid and $46.4 million for the uninsured. With this assistance, we are making sure the people and communities who rely on these services lead healthy lives now and in the future.”
During a speech in Janaury 2012, Christie made it clear he takes a strongly pro-life stance on abortion.
“I stand with you,” on opposing abortion, the governor told the pro-life crowd, and “with each and every one of those precious human lives.”
“What we need to do each and every day is to live our lives in a way that encourages everyone to understand why this cause is so important,” Christie said, according to the Asbury Park Press. ”To show that we respect the life of every human being, and that every human being is one of God’s creatures and deserves the love and respect that God gives to all us.”
“As long as I have the honor of serving as governor, you will know you will have someone sitting in that office who understands the issue, who appreciates it and will continue to stand up and speak strongly in favor for the protection of every human life in New Jersey.”
Christie said elected officials who are pro-life must “speak loudly and clearly (and) leave no ambiguity about how we feel about this issue.”
Talking about his own views, Christie added: “As you all may know this is not an issue that I always understood nor was I always on your side. It is an issue I came to grow and learn about in a very personal way. My daughter Sarah will turn 15 in February. When I heard her heartbeat at three months in our doctor’s office, it was at that moment that it became clear to me that being on the sidelines on this issue was not something I could live with. I needed to speak out in favor of a very simple idea, that that child is a life which deserves protection.”
During the 2012 presidential election, Christie admonished Mitt Romney to select a pro-life running mate, which Romney eventually did in Paul Ryan.
“If you’re voting for somebody at the top of the ticket who’s pro-life, and vice presidents often – not always, but often – wind up succeeding to leadership of the party, if not leadership of the country,” Christie said. “You know, people want some consistency in that regard.”
Christie complained Democrats are monolithic on abortion.
“The Democratic Party won’t even let someone who’s pro-life speak at their convention,” Christie said.