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November 14, 2015

Christie reflects on 9/11 following Paris attacks

Calls for refocused effort agains terrorism, ISIS

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he ditched his normal improvisational stump speech during a summit in Florida Saturday to address the deadly terrorist attacks that took the lives of more than 120 people.

The Republican candidate began his remarks at the Florida Republican Party's  Sunshine Summit by looking back on the 9/11 attacks, again using the anecdote of being asked to become U.S. Attorney a day before the tragedy. 

That specific claim has been scrutinized, as he was not appointed until December 2001, but a Christie spokesperson told that he had received the call that he would be nominated by then-President George W. Bush on September 10 in an attempt to clarify.

He recalled the uncertainty he felt since his wife had taken the train into New York City that day. Although she ended up being safe, Christie told the story about a friend who worked in the World Trade Center and died during the attacks.

Christie said his time as U.S. Attorney in the wake of those attacks shaped his understanding of terrorism and the threat it poses and lamented that the country had "lost its focus" since the uncertainty that plagued Americans in the months and years that immediately followed.

"I had originally thought when I was thinking about this yesterday coming to speak to all of you that I would do what I normally do. I'd get a handheld microphone I'd wander around the stage, I'd talk to you about my vision for America's future," Christie said.

However, Christie said that wouldn't be appropriate following the attacks on Paris Friday.

"But I Thought last night as I watched the television and the unfolding events that that was not the appropriate speech for someone who is asking you to be the leader of our country to give on a day like today."

Saying he had written his speech down, something that was "unusual" for him, he said as president he would turn his attention to law and order and protecting the interests and safety of Americans. 

He also took several shots at President Obama, calling his administration "lawless" and criticizing his handling of the ISIS. 

"He sees the world as a fantasy. I see the world as it really is."

You can watch his full remarks below:

Christie joined most of the GOP field in giving his take on the Paris attacks. Vox compiled most of the Republican candidates' responses, many of them saying that the U.S. should not accept refugees from war-torn Syria. 

Vox also reports that the attacks will be discussed in detail at Saturday's second Democratic debate airing on CBS.