ROSEMONT, Ill.—New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie unleashed a fiery response to President Barack Obama's call to increase the amount of government workers to help the economy, calling his remarks "an outrage."
"It is an outrage to have the president of the United States stand up and say to hardworking governors—Democrats and Republicans in this country—that state and local government hiring is moving in the wrong direction, and we're to blame," Christie said during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference regional meeting here Friday.
"He has the audacity to stand up this morning and say it's the nation's governors, and the nation's mayors, who are driving our economy down by not hiring enough people for government work?" Christie went on to say. "If you need to understand with any more clarity the difference between conservative Republican principles and this president, you don't need to listen to one more word this campaign than what he said behind that podium at the White House today."
Christie, considered a possible vice presidential contender, was referring to comments Obama gave during a press conference earlier Friday in which he said "the private sector is doing fine" and blamed sluggish job numbers on a reduction in government jobs.
"Where we're seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government, oftentimes cuts initiated by, you know, governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don't have the same kind of flexibility of the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in," Obama said.
"I was standing there at the TV and couldn't believe he said it," Christie told the audience at the conference. "The president fundamentally believes that the way to support our economy is to take more taxes from all of you and spend it on more public workers who then will pay a fraction of that money back in taxes. If anybody ran a business like that, they would be out of business quickly, and Barack Obama's leadership is driving this business, the United States of America, toward a fiscal cliff. We'd better stand together over the next five months and stop him from doing it."