Republican governor criticises 'toxic' politics

Fri, Jan 4, 2013, 00:00

Plain-speaking governor of New Jersey Chris Christie embarked on an extended tirade against his own party members in Congress yesterday, raging against what he described as the “toxic internal politics” of House Republicans.

Mr Christie, a high-profile Republican who is among the potential candidates for a run at the presidency in 2016, used invective against his own party usually only heard in attacks from Democrats.

Although he was specifically angry over the House’s failure to vote on a compensation package for victims of superstorm Sandy, he expanded his rant to criticise House Republicans in general and Republican speaker John Boehner in particular. In the face of heavy criticism from Mr Christie and other Republicans, Mr Boehner scheduled a vote on the aid package today.

‘Shame on Congress’

Mr Christie reflected widespread criticism, mainly on the left but also among independents and many Republicans, that the Tea Party-backed Republicans in the House are a disruptive influence, creating chaos in Washington.

“Americans are tired of the palace intrigue and political partisanship of this Congress, which places one-upmanship ahead of the lives of the citizens who sent these people to Washington DC in the first place,” said Mr Christie.“America deserves better than yet another example of a government that has forgotten who they are there to serve and why.”

Referring specifically to the failure to act on a Sandy package, he said: “Shame on you. Shame on Congress.”

Mr Christie said that, historically, lawmakers in Washington did not play politics with disaster relief, but in the present atmosphere, everything was the subject of gamesmanship. “They are so consumed with their internal politics, they’ve forgotten they have a job to do,” he said. “Everything is the subject of one-upmanship. It is why the American people hate Congress.”

– (Guardian service)