New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie lashed out at Democrats as well as his own party Tuesday as he entered the crowded race for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination — and Rep. Peter King says the New Jersey governor's criticism of Republicans was a big mistake.
"I guess Chris Christie is trying to run as a pragmatist person who gets things done, but listen, it's ok to criticize both parties, but as a Republican, there's no doubt that 90 percent of the blame goes to the Democrats," King, a New York Republican, said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"Yeah there's things that each of us can find fault with Republicans on. Tea party people criticize Republicans and others like myself criticize Republicans. However, 90 percent of the time we should be in agreement."
As he threw his hat in the ring, Christie — whose rising political star was dimmed last year during the infamous "bridge-gate" scandal — said: "Both parties have failed our country … Both parties have led us to believe that in America, a country built on compromise, that somehow compromise is a dirty word."
It's not language that King, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, would have used.
"I would never make a speech where I'm making it equal between Democrats and Republicans," King told Malzberg.
"The Democrats, what [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi and President [Barack] Obama and [Senate Minority Leader] Harry Reid are doing to Washington, there's no way you can blame Republicans or come anywhere near that."
"To me, it's ok to take a little bit of a shot to Republicans. The bottom line is though, that if you're running for president, the main culprits here are definitely the Democrats — not for political reasons but for ideological reasons and for honest reasons."
Asked if he plans to join the 14 Republicans who have now officially declared they are seeking the White House, King demurred.
"I'm still looking. I'll probably have to be deciding next week or so. I haven't made a final decision," King said.
"But I've been looking at it, [I'm] getting a good response. But again it takes an awful lot of money, an awful lot of time."
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