The nation’s governors gathered in Nashville, Tennessee, over the weekend for their semi-annual meeting and while the states’ top bosses tried to avoid appearing divisive, partisan politicking seeped into discussions of some key national issues, according to The New York Times.
They touched on politically sensitive subjects such as the flood of unaccompanied Central American children flooding the southern border, the quickly evaporating federal highway trust fund and the controversial Common Core education standards, but with midterm elections around the corner, many governors played it safe, offering more rhetoric than substance, according to the Times.
"I think all the governors on both sides of the aisle feel like this is an impasse that needs to be resolved," said New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie on the highway and infrastructure fund, while declining to suggest a solution. "Since I’m not in Congress or in the White House, I’m going to let them make those decisions."
On the border crisis, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, said he’d like to see it dealt with humanely, but in "the most cost-effective way possible," Fox News reported
"Our citizens already feel burdened by all kinds of challenges," he said. "They don't want to see another burden come into their state."
Likely 2016 presidential contenders, Christie, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Vice President Joe Biden, Maryland’s Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, a Republican, made appearances, with the GOP members taking aim at a Hillary Clinton bid.
"I don’t think Hillary is going to dissuade anybody on the Republican side from running," said GOP Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, Politico reported
. "She has strengths and she has weaknesses, and she has some significant weaknesses," he said, arguing that her tenure as secretary of state and reticence on the part of the American people to return President Bill Clinton to the White House would work against her.
"There needs to be more substance than we just want the first woman president," Herbert said.
Republican Wisconsin Gov. Walker urged members of his party to keep their eye on the November midterms and save presidential chatter for later.
"Any Republican who’s talking about anything other than [the 2014 elections] is doing a disservice to both the party and the country," he said. "There’s too much at stake in the U.S. Senate election to be focused on … anything but this November’s election."
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