Christie rejects flip-flop accusations on immigration bill

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Monday denied he flipped positions on a bill that would allow students who came to the country illegally to obtain in-state college tuition. 

Christie reiterated that he is in favor of “tuition equality,” but maintained he never supported a specific bill passed out of the state Senate while campaigning for reelection earlier this year.  

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“I said the legislature should move in the lame duck session towards tuition equality in New Jersey. Period,” Christie said at a press conference Monday, according to reports. “That’s what I said. I didn’t support any particular piece of legislation. And I still support tuition equality.”

He said he would sign the proposal if the legislature tweaked the bill first. 

Christie listed three main objections to the state Senate’s bill. First, he opposes giving grants and financial aid to those students living in the country illegally. He also wants to limit the in-state tuition to those who had been living in the country prior to 2012. Finally, Christie opposes a provision that would allow boarding school students in New Jersey who came to the country illegally to qualify for in-state tuition as well. 

His decision has implications for his candidacy for president in 2016 if he decides to run.

New Jersey’s largest newspaper, The Star-Ledger, is accusing Christie of  putting his 2016 presidential ambitions above Hispanic voters. 

“The real reason for his flip-flop? Christie has his eyes on the presidency. And if he has to roll over Latinos to get there, he’ll do it,” the Newark-based newspaper's editorial board wrote on Sunday.

The newspaper reluctantly endorsed Christie during his gubernatorial campaign earlier this year — cautioning that his presidential ambitions could cause him to move to the right.