Christie calls Obama a ‘joke’ over Syrian refugee situation
Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie on Wednesday directly responded to criticism from President Obama about admitting Syrian refugees into the United States.
The New Jersey governor said during an interview with Jake Tapper broadcast on CNN’s “The Lead” that Obama “is the person who created this entire situation” in Syria.
“He didn’t keep his word when he said he drew a red line in Syria, he allowed the situation in Syria to happen, he hasn’t set up a no-fly zone which could create a safe-haven for these refuges to live safely in their own country rather than having to scatter all across the world. And he’s the one casting aspersions?” Christie asked during the interview.
“It’s a joke. And he’s a joke on this issue,” Christie added.
The New Jersey governor and other Republicans seemed to be targeted in blunt criticism from Obama earlier Wednesday, when the president chided the “political posturing” of those opposing his plan to allow 10,000 Syrian refugees to resettle in the U.S. over the next year.
Christie is among more than two dozen governors who have bucked the administration and said they don’t support the refugee resettlement amid fears of international terrorism.
“Apparently they are scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America,” Obama said of Republicans while speaking to reporters in the Philippines.
“At first, they were too scared of the press being too tough on them in the debates. Now they are scared of 3-year-old orphans. That doesn’t seem so tough to me,” Obama added.
Christie, who had said in an interview earlier this week that he opposed accepting refugees including “orphans under 5,” pushed back against Obama on Wednesday.
“The widows and orphans I remember are the ones right after 9/11, and I don’t want to create a new generation of those,” Christie said. “I don’t take any criticism from the president seriously. He lives in a fantasyland.”
“The president created the refugee crisis by his own unwillingness to act, by his timidity, and the only time he’s not timid is when he’s criticizing Republicans,” Christie added.
Other GOP presidential candidates such as Carly Fiorina and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have pushed back on Obama’s comments. Fiorina called Obama’s remarks “outrageous” while Cruz challenged Obama to a face-to-face debate.
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