Christie: Obama Wants to Act 'As If He Is a King, As If He Is a Dictator'

Susan Jones | January 4, 2016 | 5:11am EST
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(AP Photo)

( - When it comes to gun control, it's not just what the president plans to do, but how he plans to do it, two Republicans said on Sunday.

Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie described Obama as a "petulant child."  

"[Q]uite frankly, the American people have rejected his agenda by turning both the House and the Senate over to the Republicans, and going from 21 governors when he came into office, to the 31 Republican governors now. Now this president wants to act as if he is a king, as if he is a dictator.

"The fact is, if he wants to make changes to these laws, go to Congress and convince the Congress that they're necessary. But this is going to be another illegal executive action which I'm sure will be rejected by the courts. And when I become president, will be stricken from executive action, by executive action I will take."

Also appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Republican Jeb Bush said Obama's "first impulse is always to take rights away from law-abiding citizens, and it's wrong.

"And to use executive powers he doesn't have is a pattern that is quite dangerous. It's not a surprise that people don't believe that our government is working on their behalf any more when you have a president that recklessly uses executive authority that the Constitution doesn't provide him."

Bush said a "better approach" would be to focus on "punishing people who commit crimes with guns."

Host Chris Wallace pressed Bush on the "specific ideas" that Obama is expected to announce on Monday: "Expand the number of gun sellers who have to conduct background checks. Expand the number of accused domestic abusers who are barred from buys guns. Governor, what's wrong with those specific ideas?" Wallace asked Bush.

Bush said he doesn't know the details, "but the so-called gun show loophole, which I think what he's talking about, doesn't exist. People that want to sell random -- you know, occasionally sell guns ought to have the right to do so without being impaired by the federal government. If states want to create specific rules around that kind of behavior -- fine.

"As it relates to domestic violence, the state of Florida when I was governor, did exactly what he's suggesting, but this top-down driven approach doesn't create freedom, doesn't create safety, doesn't create security. And that's what we ought to be focused on."

Bush said he objects to Obama's use of executive order to crack down on domestic abusers.

"I went to the legislature. I got it passed and I signed into law, and it was a good law and people are safer because of it," Bush said.

"But what about background checks?" Wallace asked. "And again we're not talking about the father selling a .22 to his son."

"How do you know?" Bush interrupted.

Wallace asked Bush what's wrong with requiring a gun buyer to go through a background check.

Bush said it's "completely inappropriate" to require a person selling "one or two guns" to get a federal firearms license.

"We're a bottom-up country, we're not a top-down country. And he doesn't have the authority to do this, anyway. If it's such a great idea, let him go to Congress. My belief is, the best approach is to have the laws be thoroughly vetted at the state level."

President Obama is expected to outline his latest executive actions on gun control Monday, during a meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch. And on Thursday, he'll join CNN's Anderson Cooper for a one-hour, live, prime-time broadcast on gun control, taking questions from the audience.

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