Former Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie criticized Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer during a Sunday morning appearance on ABC’s “This Week.”
Christie argued that Schumer’s speech targeting Republicans — delivered just after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell ended the standoff and agreed to raise the debt ceiling — was the equivalent of taking what he wanted from them and then “kicking them in the face.”
“There is all this talk about people wanting bipartisanship,” Christie began, pointing out that twice in recent weeks, Republicans had delivered on that front. “You’ve had the infrastructure bill in the Senate, you had 19 Republican senators come with the Democrats. And now you had the debt ceiling, where 10 came to extend the debt ceiling. And both times, Democratic leadership has smacked back at Republicans.”
Christie added that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had promised a House vote on the infrastructure bill – a vote that still has not happened – and Schumer had gone straight to the floor after the debt ceiling deal to “excoriate” Republicans.
“If we want to encourage bipartisanship, after people actually do it, kicking them in the face is not the way to get them to want to do it again. And what Chuck Schumer did, this week is going to make December 3rd a much deeper crisis,” Christie continued. “It is a sign of his immaturity, and it is a sign of his own concern about his own left and his own primary next year.”
“You can argue whether he should have given the speech. But do you think that’s why Mitch McConnell is saying he’s not going to —” host George Stephanopoulos replied, citing McConnell’s threat that Republicans would not step in again to help Democrats extend the debt ceiling.
“No, you know this, it makes it easier for him to do it. If Chuck Schumer got out on the floor and made a gracious speech, where he said, I want to thank the 10 Republicans who came over here and did it, the rest of you are irresponsible, but you 10, you did something great for the country. He’s now made it easy for McConnell to send that letter and easy Republicans to now say, to hell with you, you got all the time you want, you do it,” Christie said.
Political strategist Donna Brazile said that it was “too early to send a Valentine card to Mitch McConnell,” arguing that refusing to vote to raise the debt ceiling was like going out to a fancy dinner and then walking out without paying the bill.
“But Donna —” Christie objected.
“That’s the issue, Chris. The National interest should come — should be above the petty partisan fights that we have every day,” Brazile insisted.
“It should be. But, you know what, if you had said to me, I’m going to split the bill with you 50/50, I wouldn’t then kick you all the way to the door and call you cheap and say you were no good. And that’s what Chuck Schumer did. So my point is, Republicans did what they had to do, 10 Republicans came over, did the procedural vote, and in return what Chuck Schumer said is, you’re awful,” Christie concluded.