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Chris Christie makes big mistake



Chris Christie as United States Attorney

Governor Chris Christie equated the Tea Party with the Occupy Wall Street movement yesterday. That was a serious mistake.

The context of the mistake

Chris Christie made the equation at a town hall meeting in Little Falls, NJ. Someone asked him what effect the “Occupy Wall Street” protests would have on New Jersey. Christie pointed out that some protesters were picketing across the street from the Statehouse. Then he said:

I think that if you look at the Occupy Wall Street folks and the Tea Party folks, they come from the same perspective. They just have different solutions. What they’re saying is, “government is not working for me anymore.”

And furthermore:

I understand why the Occupy Wall Street people have sprung up, the same way I understand why – two years ago – the Tea Party people sprung up. Because they are frustrated with what government is doing – and not doing – on their behalf.

Chris Christie seemed to divide the blame between Barack Obama and the Congress:

You have a president who is unwilling to drag people into the same room and bang heads and enforce solutions, you have a Congress of both parties who won’t talk to each other, won’t have a civil word for each other to get anything done. Yet at the same time we have people out in the country who are suffering, and they are playing games in Washington, D.C.

(Sources:, The Washington Examiner, and “The Blogmocracy”)

Chris Christie for VP?

Chris Christie holds a town hall meeting

Chris Christie holds a town hall meeting in Hillsborough, NJ, on March 2, 2011. Photo: Bob Jagendorf, CC BY 2.0 Generic License

Chris Christie picked a bad time to suggest that Tea Party activists and Occupy Wall Street protesters were the same kind of people. A day earlier, he told Sean Hannity, on his radio program, that he “would consider” running for Vice-President. The Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ) picked the story up yesterday.

I’m not going to sit here and be arrogant enough to say I wouldn’t accept it when nobody has even asked me.

The SL’s Statehouse Bureau also quoted candidate Mitt Romney as putting Chris Christie on “anyone’s short list.” Christie endorsed Romney earlier this month.

How big a mistake?

Tea Party activists throughout New Jersey reacted in outrage. Nick Purpura of the Jersey Shore Tea Party Patriots called CNAV yesterday to express his thoughts. Three words summed it up:

How dare he?

Purpura went on to contrast the small-government ideology of the Tea Party with the big-government ideology of OWS. He referred briefly to some of the most disgusting behaviors of some OWS protesters, things no Tea Party activist would do. Then he accused “the Republican establishment” of “setting up” a Mitt Romney-Chris Christie ticket. He said that such a ticket would be little different from an Obama ticket.

RoseAnn Salanitri, candidate for the New Jersey Assembly in District 24, expressed dismay on hearing of Chris Christie’s remarks. She then speculated as to Christie’s motive:

It’s obvious that Chris Christie has realized that the Tea Party is not standing by him.

Today the Bayshore (NJ) Tea Party group and the Jersey Shore group announced something that might or might not be significant. The two groups formally endorsed businessman Herman Cain for President. Cain’s association with Tea Party groups nationwide is long-standing.

Chris Christie probably did not know that the Tea Party groups would endorse Cain today. But Christie had already alienated New Jersey Tea Party activists by endorsing Romney. His remarks of yesterday will only incense them further.


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Editor-in-chief at | + posts

Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.



  1. Jon

    October 19, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    What exactly is Nick Pupura’s relationship to this website? You quote him very frequently, sometimes with his Tea Party credentials, sometimes with his Bear Stearns credentials. And sometimes you just write whatever he claims some third party told him.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut

      October 19, 2011 at 8:14 pm

      He is a semi-regular contributor and a prime source.

  2. Alan Olsen

    October 20, 2011 at 1:56 am

    You’ve misread what Christie said. All he noted was that both groups start with a similar statement: Government isn’t working for me. He never said that the groups of people are similar. Everything I’ve heard about the Tea Party and OWS suggests that Christie is 100% right.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut

      October 20, 2011 at 7:48 am

      Check your premises. The basic premises of the two groups are literally poles apart. Not to mention the behaviors of the two groups. When is the last time you heard of a Tea Party activist disrobing in public, backing up to a police vehicle, and doing what comes naturally? For that matter, when is the last time that Tea Party activists clashed with police? I’ve been to several rallies, and I can tell you: the cops love the Tea Party detail. To them, it’s almost like being on break. They won’t tell you that, but you can read it in their faces, and the way they actually relax, almost like cats. No stranger dares relax near an OWS group.

      But more than that: Christie has no concept of the basic philosophies of the two groups. He said that their solutions were 180 degrees apart, but he never admitted that their philosophies were 180 degrees apart. It doesn’t even start with “government doesn’t work with me anymore.” With OWS, it starts with “I want to see those rich people do the perp walk, because they are rich.” It is the difference between the American and French Revolutions.

      • Alan Olsen

        October 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm

        Your over-simplistic view of politics can’t seem to appreciate that just because one group is dissatisfied with the government doesn’t mean that their ideological opponents must, ipso facto, be happy with the government. The fact is that Obama is a centrist, and people on both sides of the ideological battle are dissatisfied with him. I know you keep calling Obama a socialist, but it only goes to prove you don’t understand what socialism really is.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut

          October 20, 2011 at 2:59 pm

          And I know that you keep attacking Obama from the left. Ant that only goes to prove that you are a loose cannon on the gundeck of “the people’s revolution.”

          • Alan Olsen

            October 20, 2011 at 3:52 pm

            You know nothing of the sort. I, too, am a centrist. By and large, I think Obama has done a good job defending against the more extreme views in his own party while trying to make headway against the damaging and obstructionist Republicans.

            The Republicans have totally missed the opportunity to turn a Democratic president into a moderate Republican.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut

            October 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm

            Nice talking points. You’re trying to misidentify Obama with Clinton. Clinton was a politician par excellence, with no political philosophy to speak of. No wonder he moved to the right in 1994. Obama is incapable of such.

          • Alan Olsen

            October 21, 2011 at 9:36 am

            Wow. Your colleague Dan Haggerty agrees with me –

            Does this mean HE attacks Obama from the left too?

          • Terry A. Hurlbut

            October 21, 2011 at 9:37 am

            It does not. This constitutes new information from a reliable witness.

  3. Azymo

    October 20, 2011 at 5:46 am

    Why should Christie be afraid of equating the Tea Party to the Occupy movement? Alright, ignoring the comparisons for a moment, he’s a big boy and a governor of an important state. Why should he be afraid of the Tea Party, a group so fickle that they’ve shifted support from no less than three Presidential candidates in two months.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut

      October 20, 2011 at 7:49 am

      Aside from a little item such as “can you prove that,” if the candidates prove fickle to the Constitution, why should a group faithful to the Constitution remain faithful to any of them?

  4. Pingback: Chris Christie makes big mistake | Liberty News Network

  5. Azymo

    October 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Just face it, the guy made a comparison that tea partiers didn’t like, and being the overly sensitive hypochondriacs that they are they’re going to go [censored] over it. It was just a comparison. Not a great one I give you, but just a comparison all the same. Besides the polar-opposite viewpoints the Occupiers may have, it’s still citizens exercising their rights…albeit in an assinine way.

    If members of the Tea Party occupied the lobby of the Congress, you’d probably call them champions and say that any police interference was a gross violation of their rights by big government. And it’s not like the banks don’t share some blame for the recession.

    Personally I’m really starting to get fed up with both groups. Why does the political climate in this country have to be so polarized? Notwithstanding the fact that since I’m a moderate republican I’m pretty much treated like a pariah by tea partiers because I’m somehow less pure than the others. So much hooplah over a story that will be forgotten by next week. Big whoop.


    October 20, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    my goodness. do you really think Cain can beat obama. No way. the blacks he offended will rally against him.. He simply has some problems with the 9 9 9 plan.. He make a good vp, but not President. Romney is the only man who can beat obama regardless what recent polls say. The tea party going to make a big mistake like they did with S. Angle in Nevada and Odonnel and cause the GOP to lose this election by keep pushing candidates that simply can not win !!!!!!

    • Terry A. Hurlbut

      October 20, 2011 at 6:33 pm

      Watch him. Cain, that is.

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