New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said in a Tuesday appearance on Fox News that he couldn’t recall ever saying that he was first “energized” to get into state politics after Republican legislators tried to repeal the state’s assault weapons ban.
But the original statement Christie released when he announced his unsuccessful state Senate bid in 1993 said exactly that, according to NJ.com.
“The issue which has energized me to get into this race is the recent attempt by certain Republican legislators to repeal New Jersey’s ban on assault weapons,” Christie said in a statement to The Newark Star-Ledger at the time. ”In today’s society, no one needs a semi-automatic assault weapon.”
Host Bret Baier read that statement back to Christie during the Fox News appearance Tuesday, but the Republican presidential candidate dismissed its legitimacy.
“I don’t remember. I could’ve … it doesn’t sound like me,” Christie responded, as quoted by NJ.com. He went on to suggest the newspaper of getting the facts wrong.
Since entering the Republican primary race, Christie has aimed to boost his conservative credentials. The governor has struggled to gain traction in a race where political outsiders like entrepreneur Donald Trump and neurosurgeon Ben Carson have risen to the top of the polls.
Christie’s legislative record on firearms, though, has been mixed.
Before his gubernatorial re-election, Christie signed a series of gun safety bills including one that prevented individuals on the terrorist watch list from buying hand guns. And, after the massacre on Sandy Hook Elementary School, Christie appointed a task force to study gun violence and suggest ways New Jersey residents could become safer. But Christie also disappointed gun-control advocates in 2014 when he vetoed a bill that would have banned ammunition clips over 10 rounds as well as another bill that banned certain kinds of semi-automatic weapons. He initially supported that idea after Sandy Hook.