Chris Christie attacked President Obama Friday, saying the Democrat "doesn't know how to lead," among other things. The Republican governor of New Jersey previously praised Obama for his quick response to Hurricane Sandy, but now pundits believe he is gearing up for a presidential bid in 2016 and using partisan tactics to get there.
Chris Christie's sharp criticism of President Obama came during a question and answer session with Republican potential supporters. Christie, who is up for reelection as the state's governor this year, decided to put some distance between himself and the President, whom he previously publically embraced after Superstorm Sandy.
Problems in Washington were largely the fault of "a president who can't figure out how to lead," Christie told the audience. He also said Obama prioritizes being right over "getting things done."
Christie said he didn't vote for Obama during his two successful campaigns for President.
"I don't want him to be President," he emphasized.
Christie is doing more than speaking out against President Obama- he is taking policy action against him, publicizing his decisions through his office Friday.
The N.J. governor vetoed eight bills that "would add potentially hundreds of millions of dollars to state and local budgets," his office revealed. One of the bills was a Democrat-sponsored law permanently expanding Medicaid under Obamacare. Though Christie accepted the Medicaid expansion for this year- a hefty sum of $227 million- he refused to give up the ability to opt out of the program.
The move represents a more pronounced highlighting of the governor's differences with the President and the Democratic party. Christie has always been a critic of Obamacare and he is now actively fighting it; he always stood for traditional marriage over same-sex marriage, but recently made it a point to say the Supreme Court's DOMA ruling was "wrong."
Christie's political play may have a long-term strategy in mind: while he is certainly gearing up his base and supporters for his reelection effort, he is a potential contender for the presidency in 2016.