Christie: Biden's new vaccine mandate will 'harden opposition'

Christie: Biden's new vaccine mandate will 'harden opposition'
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Former New Jersey Gov. Chris ChristieChris ChristieChristie, Pompeo named co-chairs of GOP redistricting group Christie: Biden's new vaccine mandate will 'harden opposition' Allies see rising prospect of Trump 2024 White House bid MORE (R) on Sunday said the new federal vaccine mandate that President BidenJoe BidenFighter jet escorts aircraft that entered restricted airspace during UN gathering Julian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy FBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp MORE announced last week will “harden opposition” to getting inoculated.

“This is going to harden opposition. Sometimes when you're a leader, you have to go in and use a sledgehammer. And I've been known to do that when I was governor. Sometimes it's appropriate, but this one was not the time to do it. We have to be persuasive, we have to continue to persuade,” Christie said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.”

Christie's comments come after Biden on Thursday unveiled a new federal vaccine rule that will require private businesses with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccines or weekly testing.

The rule, which could impact almost 80 million workers, will be issued by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the coming weeks.

Christie said on Sunday that the Biden administration is on "shaky legal grounds" regarding whether or not the vaccine mandate can be enforced because of the OSHA statutes being used.

The former New Jersey governor also argued that mandating vaccines for federal workers is “contradictory” because health officials have said that inoculated individuals are well protected from unvaccinated individuals.

“Working for the government and ordering government workers to have to have a mandate there's one thing, extending that to two-thirds of all the jobs and making it either give vaccine or not, it's also contradictory logically,” Christie told host George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosSurgeon general: 'Our enemy is the virus. It is not one another' Christie: Biden's new vaccine mandate will 'harden opposition' GOP senator on Texas abortion law: Supreme Court will 'swat it away' when 'it comes to them in an appropriate manner' MORE.

“Because what they're telling us is, by all the data, that vaccinated people are very, very well protected from anyone who's unvaccinated and who has it, yet they're saying to us, we have to do this to protect you. Well, that’s protecting the unvaccinated from the unvaccinated,” he added.

Christie has been supportive of the COVID-19 vaccine, saying during a television appearance in July “the vaccines do work.”

Christie tested positive for COVID-19 in October and was hospitalized after attending debate preparation sessions with then-President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE at the White House. He later said he was wrong for not wearing a mask on the White House grounds.