New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Monday that he believes all parties involved in the budget debate have handled it poorly, but faulted President Barack Obama in part for “waiting on leadership” from Congress.
Speaking at a roundtable on hunger in Red Bank, N.J., Christie called the shutdown “a failure of everyone who is responsible for the system,” echoing comments he made last week. The governor said it’s ultimately the executive’s duty to force Republicans and Democrats to hammer out a bargain.
“My approach would be, as the executive: Call in the leaders of Congress or the Legislature and say, ‘We’re not leaving this room until we fix the problem,’” Christie said. “Because I’m the boss. I’m in charge. When you’re the executive and you’re waiting from leadership from the legislative branch or government — whether you’re a governor or you’re the president or a mayor — you’re going to be waiting forever, forever, because they’re not built to lead and take risks.”
The Obama administration ordered executive departments to follow plans for a government shutdown shortly before midnight Monday, after the House GOP and Senate Democrats failed to reach an agreement on a continuing resolution to fund the federal government past Oct. 1.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.