Former Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, Spoke with Fox News Radio's Guy Benson about the handling of COVID-19 in the state of New Jersey by current Governor Phil Murphy (D). Christie slammed Governor Murphy's handling of COVID causes in nursing homes saying,
"I mean think about this, New Jersey, as you know, has the second most deaths of any state in the country. And based upon the number of confirmed cases, they are by far number one in the percentage of deaths. If you look at it, the first one is New York, which has about double the deaths of New Jersey, but has nearly triple the number of cases that New Jersey has. So over - nearly 16,000 people have died in New Jersey now, and I think in large measure -- and 55 percent of those deaths happened in nursing homes, who were ordered by Governor Phil Murphy to take COVID patients into the nursing homes. And it was outrageous, it was - it was a mistake with monumental, monumental results for the people of our state."
Christie also gave his take on the 2020 race for the White House and the Trump Campaign's strategy saying,
"Well, listen, you know, I think that they -- the president made a very smart move by bringing in Bill Stepien. As a matter of full disclosure, Bill ran both of my campaigns for governor in New Jersey. Bill is, I think, one of the best on-the-ground tacticians in the country, in terms of getting out the vote, identifying your voters and then getting them to the polls. So I think Bill will help the president a point and a half or two points in these key states in terms of identifying our vote and getting our vote out to the polls. But here's the problem. The problem is, the president still is not talking about the next four years. You know -- Guy, you know this. Elections that are about yesterday are almost always bad for the incumbent. Elections that are about tomorrow are almost always good. And so, if you can talk (ph) what you want to do for the next four years if you're given the opportunity and use the successes that you've had only as a proof point for your promises for tomorrow, then you can run a winning campaign (inaudible). Right now, my biggest disappointment with the president's campaign is that they're not talking about the plans for the next four years nearly enough. And I'm hoping in these last 85 days that's what we focus on. There's still plenty of time to do it, but we've got to get to it."
Listen To The Full Interview Below:
GUY BENSON, FOX RADIO HOST: Time now for the happy hour on "The Guy Benson Show". A Friday happy hour is the best happy hour here on the program. Our website is guybensonshow.com, our podcast is always free and this hour is sponsored by The Finnish Long Drink. You can find out where it's sold near you or order online at thelongdrink.com. It is widely available in the great state of New Jersey, I'll just say that, which is a transition into my first guest of the final hour. Chris Christie, the 55th governor of New Jersey. He joins me now. Governor, great to have you back here.
FMR. GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ): Guy, thanks for having me. Always enjoy it.
BENSON: Let's start with some New York/New Jersey politics. There was, I think, a lot of surprise around the news media today when the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, made this announcement in cut 11 about schools. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Today is the deadline to look at the infection rates and make a determination. By our infection rates, all school districts can open everywhere in the state. Every region is below the threshold that we established.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BENSON: All school districts can open. This also comes on the same day as Dr. Anthony Fauci giving an interview to "The Washington Post" saying that the default should be -- carefully, but should be to try to reopen schools as many places as possible. What's your reaction to that? Because it seems like there's been a pretty strong consensus building, at least among many in the media, that this would be a disaster. Now, Fauci and Cuomo come out on the same day and it might scramble things a little.
CHRISTIE: Well, you know what it shows, Guy. It shows that the media in this country doesn't either understand medicine or politics. And the fact is that there's not a -- a medical reason, as Dr. Fauci talked about, if you do it carefully and smartly, not to reopen schools. In fact, there are a lot of psychological reasons to get schools reopened, both for those children and for the parents. And I think Andrew Cuomo showed again why he's such a good politician. He understands that the American people want, and the people of New York want, their schools reopened. And they are willing to work with the school districts to do it in a smart and safe way. So I think it once again shows that Andrew Cuomo is a smart politician, made the smart political call, on top of it being the right policy call today, and I'm not surprised having worked with Governor Cuomo for seven years that he wound up making the right call.
BENSON: Now, I want to stay on Cuomo for a second, because we played this clip on the show yesterday, and I want to play it for you now. It's cut 18. He was talking about successful people leaving New York City and leaving New York more broadly and sort of the concern that he has as the governor of that state. Cut 18 - listen to this.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CUOMO: We used to be worried millionaires, tax people might leave. No, no, no. The burden shifted. We're trying to get people to come back. I literally talked to people all day long, who are now in their Hampton's house, who also lived here, or in their Hudson Valley House, or in their Connecticut weekend house, and I'd say, you got to come back. When you coming back? We'll go to dinner. I'll buy you a drink. Come over, I'll cook. They're not coming back right now.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BENSON: You might expand this to North Carolina, Florida, other places where people have been fleeing high tax jurisdictions, and Cuomo actually also made the point that you have rich people paying a huge lion share of the taxes in a state like New York. And Governor, I feel like he's so close to an important realization about tax policy and the consequences of demonizing certain people who make up your tax base. He's not quite there, but he's -- may be on the brink. What do you think?
CHRISTIE: Well it's because - listen, Andrew Cuomo is a Democrat, but he's not stupid and he recognizes that people have now realized they can live without New York state. They can live and enjoy their lives some place else where they're paying significantly less in taxes. It doesn't mean they don't want to come back to New York, but what it means is that, they're not (inaudible) the price that they've been paying to stay in New York. And they certainly won't pay a bigger price. I hope that my governor in my state is hearing it because this is a guy who wants to go and borrow $10 billion now to replace revenue. A guy who has just put in a new 2.5 percent tax on your health insurance, and wants to raise income taxes on anybody who makes over $500,000 a year. So the same thing is happening in New Jersey. I hope that Phil Murphy is listening to what Andrew Cuomo has to say. I hope Gavin Newsom's listening to it. I hope that Ned Lamont is listening to it. These folks are ruining these states through these fiscal policies. In eight years, Guy, as governor, I didn't raise any broad-based taxes in the state of New Jersey, but all that did was thin this hide.
CHRISTIE: The Democratic legislation couldn't roll it back.
CHRISTIE: And what these guys are realizing is if you want people to come back, they're going to have to roll it back and they are unprepared given their liberal policies to do so.
BENSON: You know, I have to tell you Governor. My parents - my dad retired a couple of years ago. They've been hanging on in New Jersey, and they've had enough. They're out, and they are fully moved out - I think as of next week.
BENSON: Out of New Jersey completely. And part of it is because they look around - I have relatives in California who are looking to Arizona and Colorado as well. They say we feel like we're being treated as the enemy by our government, and so, no thank you; and they're out of there, and it's a problem in New York. It's a problem in New Jersey. Let's talk about Jersey as well on the coronavirus front. I have to say - it has been galling to see the puff pieces - not just about Cuomo and I think that a lot of that is deeply undeserved, and I've gone into that extensively on this show.
BENSON: But there's a number of these pieces about Murphy in New Jersey, oh look at this - look at the genius New Jersey government and how they flattened their curve, as if it doesn't have the highest death rate in the whole country having screwed up catastrophically especially on nursing homes early. And now because they basically let the first round of this disease kill off many, many vulnerable people through their own incompetence that's being treated now like a success compared to the quote, "failure" of like, Arizona where the numbers are way better than they are in New Jersey overall. But the media seems to have bought hook, line, and sinker the narrative that Florida, Texas, Arizona, they're the problem. And what people really need do is follow the lead of places like New Jersey. And it kind of makes my head spin.
CHRISTIE: It should make your head spin. And living here, it makes my head spin. I mean think about this, New Jersey, as you know, has the second most deaths of any state in the country. And based upon the number of confirmed cases, they are by far number one in the percentage of deaths. If you look at it, the first one is New York, which has about double the deaths of New Jersey, but has nearly triple the number of cases that New Jersey has. So over - nearly 16,000 people have died in New Jersey now, and I think in large measure -- and 55 percent of those deaths happened in nursing homes, who were ordered by Governor Phil Murphy to take COVID patients into the nursing homes. And it was outrageous, it was - it was a mistake with monumental, monumental results for the people of our state. And the fact that we have the curve flattened now -- we haven't even spoken about the economic impact that that's had on our state as well. Still to this point, we have no indoor dining in New Jersey. Still to this point, he has now reduced any kind of indoor gatherings to no more than 25 people. And what you're seeing in New Jersey, Guy, last month, 20 percent increase in opioid overdose deaths in New Jersey. You can not tell me this is not connected. We have a double digit increase in domestic cases, a double digit increase. What we're seeing here is there are real effects for these policies well beyond COVID to the long term mental health of the people in our state, and people are dying from that too. Not to mention the lives of people that have been ruined because their business (ph) have been closed. Think about this, Governor Murphy allowed Wal-Mart to be open the entire time. Wal-Mart has never closed in New Jersey, because -- the rationale was because they sold food. But of course Wal-Mart TVs, Wal-Mart sells clothing, Wal-Mart anything (ph), right. But all those small businesses across New Jersey which sold TVs or clothing or sporting goods, any of those things, they were closed for months and have been put out of business. How is it that Wal-Mart knows how better to socially distance and protect people in their stores but you're telling me the local sporting goods store or TV store can't do it, outrageous (ph). And he's been allowed to get away with it.
BENSON: And not just getting away with, I mean he's getting some glowing coverage. He and Cuomo get glowing coverage for a massive failure. I mean it's good to be a Democrat sometimes, Governor. I do want to shift -
CHRISTIE: You're not kidding.
BENSON: -- to national politics and just get your take. You have a smart political mind, you were elected and reelected as a Republican in New Jersey. What is your current diagnosis assessment of the Trump campaign, the reelection campaign?
CHRISTIE: Well, listen, you know, I think that they -- the president made a very smart move by bringing in Bill Stepien. As a matter of full disclosure, Bill ran both of my campaigns for --
BENSON: Right, right.
CHRISTIE: -- governor in New Jersey. Bill is, I think, one of the best on-the-ground tacticians in the country, in terms of getting out the vote, identifying your voters and then getting them to the polls. So I think Bill will help the president a point and a half or two points in these key states in terms of identifying our vote and getting our vote out to the polls. But here's the problem. The problem is, the president still is not talking about the next four years. You know -- Guy, you know this. Elections that are about yesterday are almost always bad for the incumbent. Elections that are about tomorrow are almost always good. And so, if you can talk (ph) what you want to do for the next four years if you're given the opportunity and use the successes that you've had only as a proof point for your promises for tomorrow, then you can run a winning campaign (inaudible). Right now, my biggest disappointment with the president's campaign is that they're not talking about the plans for the next four years nearly enough. And I'm hoping in these last 85 days that's what we focus on. There's still plenty of time to do it, but we've got to get to it.
BENSON: Briefly, what do you think of the Biden strategy to basically stay underground, out of sight, out of mind as much as possible?
CHRISTIE: So far it's effective, but the clock is ticking on it, Guy. And here's why. The American people have seen enough to Joe Biden to at least have questions about his competence and about whether he's become a captive of the ultra-liberal left. And Joe Biden's got to answer (ph) those questions, and hiding is not going to do him any good. You know, you've -- I've been through campaigns myself. You've watched campaigns. Everybody gets their time in the barrel. Everybody gets their time when the media takes their shot at them, because even though the media is liberal, they also like to torture. That's another one of their --
CHRISTIE: They like liberal (ph) people, but they like to torture too. And they torture everybody. And so, you know, Biden's going to have his time. And if he -- they continue to hide him, the American people are going to start to wonder why. And then it's going to make these debates even more important, Guy. And --
BENSON: And -- and --
CHRISTIE: If Joe Biden comes out in those debates and doesn't do well, he's in very big trouble.
BENSON: You know, he seems to also get very angry when he's challenged. And he's not challenged a lot because of this strategy, but when he occasionally is, he sort of has these outbursts and then he's really incoherent. And I think the point that you're making speaks exactly to that concern. Finally, Governor Christie, most important question I'm going to ask you, in the next segment coming up we're going to have a discussion internally among my team on the air about this post on Barstool Sports, where they asked Americans what are your top three go-to gas station snacks. So let's just say hypothetically you're on the Turnpike in New Jersey. You -- you need some gas. You stop over and you're going to have someone, of course, pump your gas in New Jersey. You stop at --
BENSON: Let's just pick the Clara Barton rest area. And you're going to go into --
CHRISTIE: Oh, yes, it's one of my favorites.
BENSON: -- the convenience store and you've got only three options for gas station snacks. So beverage and any snacks, three items, what are you picking?
CHRISTIE: OK (ph). On beverage, it will depend upon the time of day. If it's lights out --
BENSON: All right, afternoon. It's afternoon. It's like right now, let's say --
BENSON: It's like early evening, late afternoon.
CHRISTIE: Early evening I'm probably going to need a little caffeine boost. So I'm going to get a Coca-Cola Zero.
BENSON: Oh, great choice.
CHRISTIE: So I get a little caffeine boost and get myself going for the rest of my drive. And then you're always going to want to go one salty, one sweet. You don't want to go totally sweet or totally salty. So I'm going to go with the Rold Gold Pretzels, and then I'm going to go with a Milk Way bar.
BENSON: Oh, Milky Way.
BENSON: Is that a long time favorite?
CHRISTIE: Long time favorite - long time favorite.
BENSON: You know - that is a some (ph) very solid choices here, and I'm a huge Coke Zero fiend. My audience knows this. I'm not sure if you knew it, so that could have been pandering.
CHRISTIE: I didn't.
BENSON: Or it could have just been - see, there you go.
CHRISTIE: I did not know. I'm a huge fan of Coke Zero, and I think it's the right kind of pick me up without - without the sugar. I want to go back to one thing, Guy before we go.
BENSON: Sure. Sure.
CHRISTIE: Those people that are criticizing Doug Ducey in Arizona and praising Phil Murphy in New Jersey.
CHRISTIE: The death rate in Arizona is 2.2 percent. The death rate in New Jersey is 8.5 percent - nearly four times larger.
BENSON: And yet the coverage is almost exactly backwards, which is -
CHRISTIE: Exactly right (ph).
BENSON: -- remarkable, but I can't say terribly surprising; but we're going to shout it from the rooftops - the facts, the data, the empirical numbers here on "The Guy Benson Show" with the assistance of Coke Zero, Rold Gold, and Milky Way fueled Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey. We've got to get you some Finnish Long Drink as well at some point. That's maybe for the evening, but Governor, we appreciate.
CHRISTIE: That's an evening thing (ph) I think.
BENSON: That's for sure. Appreciate your time. We look forward to next time.
CHRISTIE: Guy, happy to come on anytime. I love your show. I'm a loyal listener, and you're doing a great job out there for us, so keep it going.
BENSON: Really appreciate that Governor. We've got to run. We'll be right back. It's the happy hour on "The Guy Benson Show".