Gov. Chris Christie addresses the Council on Foreign Relations
WASHINGTON, Nov. 25, 2015 — After the recent, tragic Paris attacks, Americans have once again become aware that there are people among us who are willing to carry out acts of violence against ordinary civilians. Terrorism is again a hot-button topic in the media.
Recent Fox News polling shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie beating Hillary Clinton in a head-to-head contest, 46 to 41 percent. He polls far behind Donald Trump among Republicans, yet his net favorability is up and is now one point higher than Trump’s. That bump in popularity could be due to the direct concern of many Americans about the state of the country’s national security.
Christie addressed the Council on Foreign Relations Tuesday, highlighting his experience as governor and articulating his views on national security issues related to foreign and domestic policy. Here are five takeaways from his speech:
Christie is like George H.W. Bush on foreign policy. Christie echoed several sentiments reminiscent of the foreign policy views promoted by the 41st president and former CIA director. Specifically, he said the U.S. should make bold political moves in global resource management.
While Bush and Christie are similarly oriented on the diplomatic elements of foreign policy, fiscal policy seems to be Christie’s true ideological center as a conservative. Christie vetoed attempts by state Democrats to issue successive income tax increases, one of several attempts they’ve made during the past decade. At the same time, he continued to push on decreasing the size of state government.
The U.S. needs more assertive leaders in both domestic and foreign policy. Christie emphasized this point repeatedly. His number-one complaint about the Obama Administration is the lackluster way the current Chief Executive scrutinizes inefficiencies and fixes problems. He admonished the administration for failing to look for better outcomes than the current ones. He contends that negotiating from a position of accepting opponents’ demands denies us the ability to broker better strategic partnerships.
Syrian refugees should go through a thorough vetting process to make sure that they present no clear and present danger. This was his clearest, most straightforward talking point. He expressed valid safety concerns with regard to the current administration’s open borders policy and kept the path to future Middle East stability in focus.
There are currently an estimated 4.2 million Syrian refugees worldwide, and the governor admitted to the possibility that he might reconsider the idea of accepting some of these refugees, but only on recommendation from the FBI director, as a national security issue clearly exists in light of the present ISIS-inspired turmoil.
The president has failed to negotiate in the people’s best interest. Christie said President Obama has made concessions in both trade agreements and on the Iran nuclear deal that were counter-intuitive and poorly thought out.
The Iran deal unencumbered some $100 billion in financial resources tied to the Iranian nuclear program. It is expected that the infusion of resources could have unforeseen implications to our global safety. Christie pointed to misrepresentations by the Iranians as to the potential military capacity of their nuclear efforts in the past.
On the general issue of immigration, Christie reiterated the core problem government faces: The underutilization of its full technological knowhow. There are over 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States. It is one of the growing problems every administration faces when addressing foreign policy issues. Christie says the solution lies in the greater and more effective use of technology. In our vast digital world where even personal laptops and smart phones have fingerprint identification capabilities, we should be more prepared to deploy such technologies in government. Christie noted that our data collection net is so broad, equal protection under the law is guaranteed. The fingerprint is a sufficiently effective recognition tool that he recommends its use by government to better our everyday lives and security.