BURLINGTON CITY, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Friday that President Barack Obama has not been assertive enough as three scandals involving his administration have mounted.
“When you’re the elected executive in charge of the government, the buck stops with you,” Christie said during a campaign event Friday in Burlington City, “and ultimately, you’re held responsible for everything.”
He says Obama was too slow to respond as his administration has been mired in questions about the targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service, new details about how it explained last year’s deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, and the Justice Department’s seizure of journalists’ phone records.
Christie, a Republican, is sometimes mentioned as a possible presidential candidate for 2016. His criticism of Obama echoes what many commentators from across the political spectrum have said.
The governor, though, did not assert that Obama should have known about the IRS audits of tea party and other conservative groups or the Justice Department obtaining phone records for Associated Press journalists. “You can’t know everything,” he said.
His critique, which came in response to a reporter’s question, focused on how Obama handled matters after word was out.
The fiery Christie has often criticized the president, but he has also praised him numerous times for his handling of Superstorm Sandy when it slammed into New Jersey last year.
Christie says he’s most concerned about the IRS’s actions, saying that if people can’t believe that the agency is nonpartisan, “then everybody’s at risk.”
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