With the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) putting pressure on politicians of all stripes to tone down their political rhetoric, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie insists his blunt exchanges with critics don’t represent a breach of civility.
“There is absolutely nothing that is not civil about that at all,” the Republican governor said on “Fox News Sunday” after a video was played showing him telling a New Jersey teacher, in essence, to quit if she didn’t like the pay scale.
Christie said his frank retorts – often promoted by his aides and backers in YouTube videos – aren’t the kind of harsh rhetoric President Barack Obama has asked Americans to tone down.
“What I think the president was talking about was the type of things where people are getting so emotional and trying to get people to become in some cases violent,” Christie said. “What you just saw is being straight….I don’t think there is a thing about that that is not civil.”
“I make a distinction between hostility and vitriol and straight talk….We’ve become so politically correct. And we have so gotten into this figuring out how not to answer a question, how to be completely neutral about things. And people have become fogged over listening to political conversation that’s like that,” the governor said. “What I’m doing in New Jersey is when they ask me a question, I give an answer.”