New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie avoided taking sides on the contentious issue of a U.S. military response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, saying a decision was up to Congress.
Although calling the use of chemical weapons "intolerable," the Republican governor declined to wade into the debate on whether the United States should get involved.
"I'm going to leave that to the people who represent us in Congress to make that decision," Christie said, adding he thought the New Jersey delegation would "do what they think is right for America," The Record reported.
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Christie, appearing Tuesday at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, said he sympathized with the concerns of Syrian families in New Jersey who might be concerned about relatives.
"If I had seen some of the things that had happened over the last year-plus in Syria I'd be concerned if I had family there as well," he said. "And certainly the use of chemical weapons is something that is just intolerable for civilized society."
"I empathize with those folks who have relatives back in Syria but I'm going to let the policy-making be done by the people who are getting the bulk of the briefing on this, which is our federal representatives," Christie said.
Those will include lawmakers who, like Christie, are seen as possible GOP contenders in the 2016 presidential race, like Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., who has come out in support of Obama's call for a military strike on Syria, led a hearing on congressional authorization Tuesday as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Christie told reporters that "we're fortunate in New Jersey to have someone who will be at the forefront of this discussion and helping to ... craft the policy along with the president," The Record reported.
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