Christie: Confederate Flag Is ‘Divisive’ But Removing It Won’t Abolish Racism

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) late Tuesday praised South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) for her efforts to remove the “divisive” Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds, but argued that doing so wouldn’t go very far towards combating racism.

“Governor (Nikki) Haley has demonstrated what it means to be a leader during extremely difficult and tragic times for her state and our country,” Christie said in a statement, as quoted by “I commend Governor Haley for her decision to remove the flag from the grounds of the state capitol.”

Christie’s comments came a day after Haley called for the state legislature to take the necessary steps to remove the flag following the massacre of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina. Virtually all of the 2016 GOP presidential contenders had already weighed in on whether or not the flag should come down.

Christie said that removing the flag would be an empty gesture, though, if America didn’t also come to grips with the “ugly hate and racism” displayed by the white Charleston gunman.

“While this is a necessary step towards addressing a divisive symbol of racism in our country, this step will mean little if we do not also honestly confront and discuss the fact that these murders were born out of ugly hate and racism,” his statement continued, as quoted by “That is what we must stand up against and fight even more than any symbol; it is long overdue that we not only shine a light on and condemn the symbols of hate, but on the haters themselves as well.”

Christie has not announced a 2016 presidential bid yet, although Politico reported late Tuesday that the New Jersey governor could officially jump into the fray as early as next week.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

TPM Staff
Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: