Chris Christie has heard enough about Warren Buffett, and in typical fashion, the New Jersey governor had a certain blunt way of putting it.
“He should just write a check and shut up,” Christie said Tuesday on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight.” “Really, and just contribute. The fact of the matter is that I’m tired of hearing about it. If he wants to give the government more money, he’s got the ability to write a check – go ahead and write it.”
“I’m so tired of talking about Warren Buffett,” Christie said, interrupting Morgan. “What are you going to bring up next, his secretary? I mean, this is the old song.”
“You haven’t even heard the question,” Morgan exclaimed.
“I know the question,” Christie replied. “Do you really think Warren Buffett needs as much attention from the government as the most vulnerable … since I got the question right, I’m not answering the question, how about that. That’s my gift for getting the question right.”
When they returned from a commercial break, Morgan continued to press Christie on the Buffett question.
“First of all, Warren Buffet doesn’t live in New Jersey,” Christie said, before ultimately answering the question. “Of course, during difficult economic times you’re most concerned about the people who have the potential to suffer the most.”
Christie made his comments in the context of saying that his job as governor is to be responsible for all New Jerseyans.
“I’m not going to get into this class warfare business where certain people are more important than others or deserves more. … Everyone deserves to have the government responsive to their concerns and needs,” said Christie.
Buffett, an influential billionaire, is the namesake of the “Buffet Rule,” which suggests that those earning more than $1 million a year pay at least the same rate in taxes as those from middle-class households.
The rule had been a flashpoint in the ongoing national conversation about income inequality in the context of the Occupy Wall Street and 99 Percent movements.
Buffett had claimed that it was an injustice that he, a wealthy investor, essentially paid a lower tax rate than his secretary.