Charles Barkley likes Bush, Christie

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Former NBA great Charles Barkley says he’s considering leaving Democrats to support either New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) or former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) for president in 2016.

“I am paying close attention to the political situation,” Barkley said in an interview with Sports Illustrated. “I have always voted Democratic. But I like some of the Republicans this time around. I like Chris Christie. I like Jeb Bush. I like those guys.”

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Barkley wouldn’t say how he felt about the potential candidacy of Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“I just told you I was thinking about voting Republican,” he said in the interview.

Still, Barkley said he was disappointed with Christie over remarks the New Jersey governor made in London that parents should have more choice on whether to vaccinate their children.

“I was very disappointed in Chris Christie the other day on the measles thing,” Barkley said. “It is a shame that these guys are afraid of just answering the question and trying to make everyone agree with you.”

A measles outbreak in the United States has opened up a contentious political debate over vaccinations.

Christie and Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), another potential GOP presidential candidate in 2016, attracted criticism for saying it should be up to parents to decide whether or not to vaccinate their children.

Christie initially said parents should have a “measure of choice” on vaccinations before he released a second statement that clarified there is “no question kids should be vaccinated.”

“They answered the question and started getting blowback and criticism and then change up,” Barkley said. “I’m like, dude, your opinion is just your f---ing opinion. I don’t understand why you answer a question and think everyone is going to agree with you. You can’t live your life like that.”

Barkley also said that he wished that President Obama was more authoritative at times. Barkley pointed to King Abdullah of Jordan, who he said had a strong response to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria having burned alive a Jordanian pilot it captured in December.

“I think [Abdullah’s] actions when they burned that kid alive, I thought his actions were heroic,” Barkley said. “He was like, ‘no, you cannot do that to my people.’ I wish President Obama was like that sometimes. I do. I think that is the way we have to treat ISIS. We can’t keep thinking it will go away. I thought it was heroic what Abdullah did.”

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