Christie on AOC: ‘At Some Point, She Has to Govern … She’s on a Celebrity Tour’

By Melanie Arter | June 17, 2019 | 3:01pm EDT
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

( – In reaction to the interview ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopolous” did with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said she should have been asked to explain how she plans to pay for a $15 minimum wage, tuition-free college, and universal health care.

As reported, Ocasio-Cortez said she was less concerned about whether Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is a billionaire than she is that “your average Amazon worker is making a living wage, if they have guaranteed health care and if they can send their kids to college tuition-free.”

When asked for his reaction to the interview, Christie said, “I think she doesn't know how to do math. That's for certain.”

“What? In terms of the calculus on impeachment?” ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked Christie.


“No, no, not on the calculus on impeachment, on what she was talking about at the end regarding billionaires, and you know, she wants everybody to have all of these things, but she herself has been so off on the math of what these things cost, and what it would take to tax those things, and is it even possible to provide them,” Christie said.

“I mean, the fact of the matter is she is someone who's having a great experience at the moment, and it happens a lot in American politics,” he said.

“It’s pretty extraordinary, though, to see a freshman come on the way she's come on,” Karl said.

“Yes, absolutely. Well, and I think part of her popularity is that she's able to really talk about issues that everyday Americans face. Health care, education, equal pay,” Democratic strategist Stefanie Brown James said. “And so, she’s having a moment for sure, but she's also talking about very real issues that a lot of Democrats care about.”


CHRISTIE: But no realism attached to it.

BROWN JAMES: Not completely.

CHRISTIE: She wants tuition-free college. She wants $15 minimum wage for everybody. She wants health care for everybody. I mean, these are all things that cost trillions of dollars, and she has not once expressed a mathematically feasible way to pay for them.

Now, that's okay when you're campaigning for something, but now you have the office, and you have a responsibility to do it, and if you’re going to have her on a show like this, she should be asked about how it works. And she wasn't asked that this morning, Jon.

And as long as she's not asked those questions, we’re going to continue to have her moment, but at some point you have to govern, and she’s not governing. She’s on a celebrity tour.

KARL: Well, she’s a freshman member who is very influential in where the caucus is going. That’s why we were talking to her. She is somebody who the 2020 candidates are lining up trying to get her endorsement.


Brown James said Ocasio-Cortez is “speaking for Democrats and people who actually feel very left out of the process all across the country.”

BROWN JAMES: “She has a voice that represents a lot of people, and so I think it's important to have her on a platform like this, even though she is a freshman member, she may not be able to give specifics, but we cannot deny–” she said.

CHRISTIE: But she’s misleading. She’s misleading those people that feel left out, Stephanie.

BROWN JAMES: I wouldn’t call it -- no, that’s not misleading. That’s not misleading at all.

CHRISTIE: She’s misleading them, because she’s telling them you can have tuition-free college, that you can have Medicare for All, and all those things –

BROWN JAMES: Which many of the Democrats candidates are also saying the same thing.

KARL: Which by the way is the platform of many of the Democratic candidates.

CHRISTIE: But Jon, by the way, none of them have said how they’re going to pay for it.

KARL: Well Elizabeth Warren’s got a wealth tax. I mean, there are -- so let’s get on to the bigger field here.



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