Chris Christie took aim at a self-proclaimed gun rights activist over the weekend, who stood and called the Republican party presidential hopeful “anti-gun.” The New Jersey governor stood his own, and then some, in berating the questioner, who advised reporters he spoke on behalf of the Iowa Gun Owners gun rights group. Against the backdrop of Christie’s campaign slogan – “Telling it like it is” – he did just that.
Writes CNN: “Chris Christie tore into a gun rights activist who questioned his Second Amendment record in an Iowa town hall event Saturday night, displaying the fiery and confrontational style the New Jersey governor is known for.”
The man said to Christie: “State gun rights groups from here in Iowa to Minnesota even to Georgia have sent out some emails recently saying you’re very anti-gun when it comes to the Second Amendment, so my question is, how are you going to [convince] New Jersey gun owners into thinking that you’ll be anything other than a President Michael Bloomberg if you become successful?”
Christie told the man that the info he had was “not true,” and that most of New Jersey’s tough gun regulations were signed into law before Christie became governor. To that, the activist, who refused to identify himself by name, rolled out the “.50 caliber ban” and “Brian Fletcher,” – a man whose legal team has asked Christie for a pardon.
NJ.com broke the news of Fletcher’s arrest in early July, writing: “A North Carolina man doing emergency, storm-related utility repairs in Mercer County last month is facing possible prison time after volunteering to a police officer in Hamilton that he had a handgun in his vehicle. The admission to police, the customary and legal thing to do in North Carolina, landed Brian Fletcher in handcuffs and a night in the Hamilton police lockup.”
To that incident, Christie told the activist:
“Brian Fletcher’s case is under consideration. But you don’t make a decision to pardon somebody in 15 minutes. It’s an awesome power and authority…I’m not going to make that decision in 15 minutes nor should I. Nor should you want me to,” Christie said, adding later, “I understand you have your point of view, but your point of view is dead wrong.”
The voter also accused Christie of spearheading a controversial and proposed ban on .50-caliber rifles, as well as a recommended government requirement for every gun owner to be identified and logged in a statewide registry.
“You just raised the .50 caliber rifle [issue],” Christie continued. “As if that was something that I did. I vetoed it! So I don’t know where you’re getting your information from, but your information is wrong… Is that somebody who’s anti-gun and anti-gun rights?”
I understand you’re shrugging your shoulders, but what are you shrugging your shoulders about? I mean, I understand if you have a point of view, then have a point of view, but have some facts about it. What are your facts to back up that I’m anti-gun? ~ Chris Christie to gun activist
“I have no problem defending my record against questions from folks like you or anyone else,” Christie said. “But what you are obligated to do with all due respect is to have a few facts at your disposal. And not just an impression that you want to have, because the impression is wrong. And the facts are wrong, and I’m still waiting for one fact, one fact from you about me being anti-gun. Give me one, one fact. Got one?”
CNN adds that Christie was also asked “about what was apparently a 20-year-old Christie campaign ad in which he attacks an opponent for seeking to repeal an assault rifle ban in New Jersey.”
“That ad was from 1995,” Christie bellowed back in response. “Let me ask you this, if you haven’t changed your mind once in 20 years, if you haven’t changed your mind in 20 years on any issue, then I’ll tell you, you’re not a thinking, breathing, living human being… This is the kind of garbage that people point at who have an agenda… Work for the candidate who you want to work for, that’s fine with me. Don’t come in front of this group of people and lie about my record which is what you did.”
What are your thoughts on Chris Christie’s exchange with this gun rights activist?