Chris Christie, former governor of New Jersey and Republican presidential candidate, made headlines last night at the GOP debates. His controversial remarks have sparked a widespread public outcry, even among members of his own party. In a section of the debates focused on education, Christie attacked Jill Biden by saying the following:
“Let’s tell the truth, everybody, about what this is. The public school system is no longer run by the public. It is run by the teachers unions in this country. Randi Weingarten and her crew are absolutely strangling—they are taking the worst of their members and defending them rather than advocating for our kids.”
“And when you have the president of the United States sleeping with a member of the teachers unions, there is no chance that you can take the stranglehold away from the teachers union every day. They have an advocate inside the White House every day for the worst of their teachers, not for their students to be the best they can be.”
“A president of the United States has to take on the teachers union. I did it in New Jersey, and I will do it as president of the United States.”
Christie, who has never taught, is known for other combative remarks on teachers unions, most notably his August 2015 comment that they deserve a punch in the face and are “a mafia.”
Later in the debate, former vice president Mike Pence circled back to Christie’s comment about Jill Biden.
“My wife isn’t a member of the teachers union, but I’ve got to admit, I’ve been sleeping with a teacher for 38 years. Full disclosure,” Pence said.
What people are saying about Christie’s attack on Jill Biden
The tension between conservatives and educators’ unions is nothing new, but public reaction widely indicated the dig was both inappropriate and bizarre. Users weighed in with their thoughts on replies to Christie’s X account.
Christie told news website Semafor in April of this year, “If I get into the race, I’ll keep it interesting.”