Christie's Bold Defense of Muslim-Americans (Four Years Ago)

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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at Iowa town hall meeting, Nov. 11, 2015.
From New Jersey Public Radio

From Governor Christie’s comments about Syrian orphans to Donald Trump’s assertion that he saw thousands cheering in Jersey City on 9/11, New Jersey has become a central part of the national discussion on refugees and terrorism in the aftermath of the Paris attacks.

In his response to Trump’s claims about Jersey City, Governor Christie was accused of going easy on the front runner. Instead of issuing a blunt denial that the widely discredited rumor was fiction, Christie said simply, “I do not remember that. It’s not something that was part of my recollection. I think if it had happened, I would remember it. But, you know, there could be things I forget too.”

To help us make sense of the refugee rhetoric, we're joined by dueling Matts: Matt Katz who covers Governor Christie for NJPR and Matt Rooney, who runs the conservative Save Jersey blog.

Matt Rooney says Chris Christie shouldn't have to answer for everything Trump says. Rooney poses the question, “How much should we go at Donald Trump and try to correct him... in so doing, are we actually building him up?”

But Matt Katz says, “Trump was slandering residents of Christie’s home state,” and the governor's tepid response doesn’t cut it.

This week, we turn back the clock to recall a side of Christie that has remained submerged through much of the primary – as we remember the times when the governor let loose with bold support for a Muslim-American judge.


Patrick Colligan, President of the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association tells host David Furst why he’s been warning officers across the country against supporting Christie’s presidential bid.

Check out the WNYC Data News App: The Christie Tracker.