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December 06, 2015

Christie on NYT's gun editorial: 'liberal claptrap'

Says Obama, Clinton capitalizing on tragedy

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, no fan of New York Times editorials in the first place, had harsh words for the paper's recent front-page piece that called for more stringent gun control following the killings in California.

In an interview with CBS News' Face The Nation that aired Sunday, the Republican presidential candidate called the editorial "typical liberal claptrap" from the Times.

He said the focus following the fatal shooting should be on putting criminals who commit crimes with handguns in jail and addressing mental health issues.

Christie also criticized President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for calling for more gun control soon after the tragedy, and also took a shot at some of his GOP rivals. More from CBS News:

But this is the typical liberal approach to things. The president has said it. No crisis is -- no crisis is worth wasting. And they wanted to try to turn this awful tragedy into an excuse to have greater gun control, when what we really need is greater intelligence, which the president has taken away from this country, with the complicity of Senator Cruz and Senator Paul.

The editorial Christie dismissed was the first to appear on the front page of the Times since 1920.

Citing the string of mass shootings that have occured over the past few years in the United States, the editorial board of the paper said it was a "moral outrage and a national disgrace" that people can buy weapons "specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency."

Christie told CBS News he's reversed his position on assault rifles after serving as a U.S. Attorney.

He said after opposing the legality of such weapons more than 20 years ago, his time as a prosecutor made him learn the key to solving the problem was giving law enforcement officials the proper tools to do their jobs.

On Thursday, the New Jersey General Assembly fell short of enough votes to override Christie's veto on a gun-control bill passed this summer.