Ducking reporters' badgering questions, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie insisted Friday that immigration reform is a federal job, and refused to outline his stance on the hot-potato topic until, and if, he decides to run for president.
It's a position Christie consistently has taken before, criticizing the Obama administration for doing "an awful job" in securing the southern border while cautiously avoiding being pinned down on the topic himself, CNN reports.
"I won't have anything to say on immigration unless and until I become a candidate for president of the United States," Christie, on a three-day tour of Mexico, told reporters. "If that happens, then I will articulate a full position on it.
"Until that time, I have no role in the immigration debate, except for how it may affect the individual citizens of New Jersey, which I'll deal with as governor."
Tackling reporters' urging, Christie said, "I know you guys are begging to have me focus on immigration, and let me put you to rest: I'm not going to. You can ask in 18 different ways … I'm not giving you the story, so you can move on to whatever your next questions are."
In July in Iowa, Christie took the same position, telling reporters, "I'm not going to discuss a complicated issue like immigration in a parking lot here in Marion, which really deserves a much deeper and more thoughtful conversation than we give out here right now."
In San Francisco, CNN reports, he reiterated to reporters, "I'm sure you'd love me to do that. And in fact what I want to do in a flower warehouse, I want to give you a very complex answer behind a set of microphones on a contentious issue that's driving debate all across the country. No thank you."
Christie, a former contender for the Republican nomination and, many believe, aiming for a White House run in 2016, told the NJ.com, "I understand everybody wants to start a campaign that I even haven’t decided I want to be in right now. I’m just not going to do it."
At the point he decides to run, Christie promised to "articulate a full position on it, and then you guys can pick it apart," NJ.com
After meeting with Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto, Christie said the two discussed the political ramifications of immigration in the United States, and how "it's a very difficult issue for both parties" in the United States, and it is the federal government's job to fix it.
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