Christie Dismisses ‘Judge Kerfuffle’: ‘Donald Trump Is Not A Racist’

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie makes a point during his budget address, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, in Trenton, N.J. (Clem Murray/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)
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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) defended Donald Trump on Tuesday, insisting that the presumptive GOP nominee was “not a racist” for highlighting the Mexican heritage of a federal judge.

“I don’t know this judge,” Christie told reporters outside the polling site where he was casting his vote in the New Jersey primary. “I don’t know him personally. I don’t know the history of the Trump University case. So I’m not going to get into speaking about all that. I’ve said this before, that I know Donald Trump. I’ve known him for 14 years. And Donald Trump is not a racist.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) called Trump’s attacks on U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel “the textbook definition” of racism in a Tuesday morning press conference. Dozens of other politicians from both sides of the aisle have spoken out against the attacks, too.

Christie, who endorsed Trump early on and was charged with putting together a presidential transition team for his campaign, dismissed the controversy as a “kerfuffle.”

“I am not going to get into critiquing a campaign that we’re in the middle of,” Christie said. “There will be plenty of times for postmortem after the campaign is over and if you want to ask me about it then that’s fine. I’m not going to microanalyze every bit of a campaign because the voters don’t.”

Christie is no stranger to controversies involving the ethnic or religious identity of members of the judiciary. He received accolades for appointing Sohail Mohammed, who is Muslim, as a Superior Court judge in Passaic County in 2011. The governor dismissed critics who alleged that Mohammed had ties to terrorism or would follow Sharia law as “ignorant.”

“It’s just crazy and I’m tired of crazies,” Christie said at the time.

Trump suggested Monday that a Muslim judge also could be “biased” against him because of his proposed ban on Muslim immigration to the United States.

Asked if Trump’s rhetoric had ever “gone too far” for him, Christie called the real estate mogul’s lack of political correctness “refreshing.”

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