Gov. Christie: Obamacare Is ‘Extortion’

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers remarks and answers questions at the Brookings Institution, a non-partisan, public policy think tank, on July 9, 2012 in Washington, D.C. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers remarks and answers questions at the Brookings Institution, a non-partisan, public policy think tank, on July 9, 2012 in Washington, D.C. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had some harsh words about President Obama’s health care law while speaking at a think-tank Monday.

Addressing the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., Christie called Obamacare “extortion.”

“I was glad that the Supreme Court ruled that extortion is still illegal in America,” Christie told the audience. “Obamacare on Medicaid in states was extortion. [Obamacare] essentially said you expand your program to where we tell you, and if you don’t, we’re taking all the rest of your money away. I’m really glad that a majority of the Supreme Court found … that extortion is still illegal, even when done by the president of the United States.”

The Supreme Court found problems with the law’s expansion of Medicaid during last month’s ruling, but ruled that the expansion could proceed as long as the federal government does not threaten to withhold states’ entire Medicaid allotment if they don’t take part.

Christie also called on the federal government to stop giving his state money to hire more public employees.

“Please don’t send me any more money to hire more public employees,” Christie said. “I don’t need anymore. I’ve got plenty. They’re extraordinarily expensive and extraordinarily difficult to manage.”

Christie rejected GOP overtures to run for president and has said he doesn’t expect Mitt Romney, the party’s presumptive nominee, to tap him as a running mate. Christie has not declared whether he’ll run for re-election in New Jersey in 2013, but has repeatedly said he loves the job of being governor.

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