New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) appeared on "Face the Nation" yesterday. He turned in another gripping performance, following his recent speech at the American Enterprise Institute.
He is -- no doubt a consequence of his years as a prosecutor -- entirely fluid in his delivery. He maintains good cheer even when dismantling the question. And he makes even the toughest position sound like nothing more than common sense.
Asked if Gov. Scott Walker has "gone too far," Christie responded:
Bob, let me tell you what -- what went on in New Jersey. My predecessor, Governor Corzine, stood on the front steps of the Capitol at a public-sector union rally and said, "I'll fight to get you a good contract." And I thought to myself, watching that, who's he fighting with? Once he says that, the fight's over. What I believe in is true adversarial collective bargaining. And so, every state is different. I'm not going to micromanage Wisconsin from Trenton, New Jersey. I know Scott Walker. I like him. And I trust him. And I think he believe he's doing what's in the best interest of Wisconsin, the same way I'm going to do what I think needs to be done for New Jersey, which is, to reform the pension system and roll back health benefits for public-sector workers, to put them more in line with the rest of the population in New Jersey, to put us on a long-term path to fiscal stability.
But aren't collective bargaining rights inviolate? Christie, a former U.S. attorney, reminds us:
Now listen. All these rights are legislatively created. They didn't come down from tablets at the top of a mountain. And so, political things change and go back and forth. And every state is going to make their own determination on that. Wisconsin is in the middle of making that determination. As you know, Bob, there are plenty of states in America where that right doesn't exist. And so, each state has to make their own determination on that.