Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie is defending Maine Gov. Paul LePage over his racially charged comments
about heroin sellers and white women, saying that the governor has apologized for his comments and is a "good man."
"We can't judge people by one set of remarks they make, especially when they apologize," the New Jersey governor told MSNBC's "Morning Joe"
co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski in an interview taped during the Kemp Forum on Expanding Opportunity event in South Carolina, aired on their show Monday.
"From my perspective, he's an outspoken guy and shoots from the hip," Christie continued about LePage, one of his major backers.
"In times, he says things he thinks he shouldn't have said. It doesn't change my respect for him . . . every one of us, me and everyone else . . . says things they would take back."
Meanwhile, Christie told MSNBC that fighting drug addiction will continue to be a major focus of his national campaign, not just in New Hampshire, where he has been hitting hard on the issue.
"Drug addiction in happening in every community in our country," said Christie, who commented that there are many who want to treat the issue as a "moral failure" rather than an illness.
"Heroin is becoming a problem in our country. Real families are affected by this every day. They're desperate."
Christie also pushed back hard on fellow candidate Marco Rubio, who has been hitting him in recent speeches.
"I'm not going to engage in that kind of stuff," Christie said. "The fact is, I understand he doesn't understand a lot of this stuff because he's never really done anything. I say the U.S. Senate is like school, they tell you where to go, where to sit, tell you what he's going to talk about." But Rubio, he pointed out, is not coming to the Senate and casting votes.
Christie also took on polls from his home state, in which many say they are not happy with his leadership.
"This would be like as if the folks at NBC knew you were looking for a new job," he told them. "They wouldn't be thrilled with you, I suspect. They would be a little disappointed with you.
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