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2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign: Chris Christie

Chris Christie currently serves as the Governor of New Jersey, and ran for the Republican party's nomination for President during the 2016 elections. Christie was born in Newark, New Jersey on September 6, 1962, and grew up in Livingston, New Jersey. At Livingston high school Christie served as his class president, and when he was 15 he began volunteering for the gubernatorial campaign of Tom Kean. Volunteering with Kean's campaign sparked an early interest in politics for Christie, and he graduated from the University of Delaware with a political science degree in 1984.

In 1987 Christie graduated from the Seton Hall University School of Law with a juris doctor, and later that year was admitted to the New Jersey State Bar Association as well as the Bar of the United States District Court, District of New Jersey. In the early 1980's Christie joined a local law firm and was eventually made a partner, specializing in securities law, election law, and government affairs. Christie was elected to the Board of Chosen Freeholders of Morris County New Jersey in 1994, and was not re-elected. Following his term, Christie turned his attention back to his law practice and devoted much of his time to lobbying activities.

Christie served as George Bush jr's campaign lawyer for New Jersey during the 2000 presidential election, and following Bush's victory he was appointed the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey. Chris Christie served as the top law enforcement official in New Jersey from January 2002 through December 2008. During his term as the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, Christie and his team focused on corruption and terrorism, obtaining guilty pleas from 130 public officials on charges of corruption. Brothel owners and gang members were also targetted by Christie's legal team.

Papers were filed by Christie's campaign on January 8, 2009, officially entering him as a gubernatorial candidate. At the New Jersey Republican primary Christie received 55% of the votes, and won the general election in November 2009 by a margin of four percentage points. He won re-election in 2013 by a large margin. As Governor, Christie promised not to increase taxes, and made up for the deficit by reducing available tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. Under pension reform bills approved by Governor Christie, pension for future hires was decreased and public employees were required to pay 1.5% of their total salaries toward their health-care plan. Prior to his election Christie promised to reduce the workforce and oversight of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protections, claiming that the organization is too large and hurting businesses. Governor Christie pushed for New Jersey businesses to adopt green energy solutions by offering tax credits and stimulus packages to businesses who make use of solar panels and/or wind energy. Under the Christie administration, New Jersey's credit rating has dropped nine times, leaving it with the second lowest credit rating in the country.

Christie vetoed legislation aimed at increasing the minimum wage while Governor, and is supportive of civil unions but not same-sex marriage. He has stated that undocumented illegal immigrants are committing a civil wrong, not a crime, has advocated for a path to citizenship, and is supportive of the New Jersey Dream Act. As Governor, Christie vetoed funding for Planned Parenthood five times.

The official campaign website for Chris Christie's presidential run appeared on June 27, 2015, and Christie announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination during a speech given at his high school on June 30, 2015.

Christie did not receive any delegates at the New Hampshire primary on February 9, 2016, but did garner 7.5% of the votes. Christie suspended his campaign the following day, after failing to develop any momentum at the Iowa caucus or the New Hampshire primary.


U.S. - Israel Relationship

  • “I want to have Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu here, by himself, at Camp David for a long weekend. And I want to say to the Prime Minister that in the first evening together is dedicated for allowing him to vent about what it has been like over the last number of years... If you’re in Israel right now, you are very concerned, rightfully so, about what is the nature of that continued support.”
    (Jewish Insider, January 7, 2016)
  • “The protection of the state of Israel has to be a top priority of the president of the United States of America.”
    (Bloomberg, July 16, 2015)

  • “Our friends in Israel deserve better than what they've gotten in the last seven years from this White House.”
    (Philly.com, May 30, 2015)
  • “Our commitment to Israel must be absolute. Israel is a beacon of freedom in a sea of autocracy and our friendship should be unshakable. Over the last few years this administration has taken our Israeli partners for granted, and it is shameful how the president has treated them. Israel and its people must be supported by the United States and the American president - its existence and its security is non-negotiable, and the Iranians and others who think otherwise must be reminded by America of that simple fact.”
    (Algemeiner, May 20, 2015)
  • Christie visited Israel in 2012 and held meetings with Israeli officials, as well as toured the countryside.

Iran

  • “Iran will never get a nuclear weapon under my watch even if it means we need to use American military force to prevent it -- never, ever, ever. Iran will also not get another meeting with the United States, let alone any further agreements, until they recognize Israel’s right to exist. What they need to publicly acknowledge is -- the Supreme leader needs to acknowledge -- that Israel has a right to exist.”
    (Speech, Nashua New Hampshire, February 1, 2016)
  • “Our relationship with Iran is complicating our capability to put together an incorporated coalition to fight ISIS. Add to that the Iranian nuclear capabilities; add to that the Iranian sponsorship of terrorism; add to that the Iranian attitude towards Israel; and add the that the Iranian’s goal of a persian empire  - you add that up and Iran is simple an enormous threat. And above that, the ISIS threat becomes worse because it is much harder for us, given the way the administration is treating Iran, for us to be able to put together U.S. allies and Sunni-Arab allies to fight ISIS.”
    (Jewish Insider, January 7, 2016)
  • “We will not have an agreement, a handshake or meet with anyone of the Iranian government until they recognize the right of Israel to exist.”
    (Jewish Insider, December 20, 2015)
  • “He lied to the American people. He put his entire support of this agreement, as you heard yesterday, on verification. We’re not trusting anybody, and he said that we have 24/7 access to Iran’s nuclear facilities, and that we could inspect anytime, anywhere. Every reading of this agreement shows that all Iran has to do to stop inspections is ask.”
    (Bloomberg, July 16, 2015)
  • “If I’m saddled with the deal as president, then on the first day I’ll be saying to my national security advisor, to my Secretary of State and to my head of national intelligence: give me all the information I need to let me know all the options I have to try to put this genie back in the bottle, and then we’ll make a decision.”
    (Time, July 4, 2015)
  • “How can we sit and negotiate the future of the Iranians' weaponry without Israel and their neighbors at the table?”
    (Philly.com, May 30, 2015)

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