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August 9, 2011 12:00 am

Why Chris Christie Will Never Be President of the United States

avatar by Daniel Pipes

Email a copy of "Why Chris Christie Will Never Be President of the United States" to a friend

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at a town hall meeting in Union City, New Jersey, February 9, 2011. Photo: Nightscream.

Chris Christie, New Jersey Governor since 2010, has qualities and achievements that appeal to mainstream conservatives, from his direct style to his impressive budget cutting. As a result, he has won impressive support to run as a Republican candidate for President of the United States.

But Christie has an Achilles Heel that gives one pause.

He came under criticism from fellow conservatives for nominating Sohail Mohammed, an Islamist who aspires to apply Islamic law, the Sharia, as a state superior court judge; for an outline of these concerns, see the Investigative Project on Terrorism, “Gov. Christie’s Strange Relationship with Radical Islam.”

In response, Christie delivered a tirade on July 26, 2011, on the topic of Sharia: “Sharia law has nothing to do with this [i.e., the appointment of Sohail Mohammed] at all. It’s crazy. It’s crazy. … So, this Sharia law business is crap. It’s just crazy. And I’m tired of dealing with the crazies. I mean, you know, it’s just unnecessary to be accusing this guy of things just because of his religious background” [excerpt from 2:43 on the video].

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Comments: (1) These are fighting words against fellow conservatives that will not soon be forgotten: “…this Sharia law business is crap. It’s just crazy. And I’m tired of dealing with the crazies.”

(2) Calling critics of Mohammed “crazies” who are “accusing this guy of things just because of his religious background” reveals Christie to be a headstrong ignoramus; the IPT report on Mohammed is not about religious background but political activities.

(3) Contrarily, Christie won the hearty endorsement today of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, whose New Jersey branch issued a statement thanking him, applauding him, and urging a note of gratitude be sent him via the “Contact Us” page at the governor’s website.

(4) Not a bad idea to contact Christie: if you live in New Jersey and wish to register your displeasure, go to http://www.state.nj.us/governor/contact/.

(5) Although still a small issue, Sharia has grown very quickly since 9/11, as a concern to Americans, and should continue to do so for many years and decades to come.

(6) Conceivably, Christie could apologize for these remarks and undo much of the damage he’s done himself. But, given his public persona, I doubt this will happen.

(7) Therefore, I predict that Christie’s unremitting Grover Norquist-like friendly attitude toward Islamists will turn conservatives against him and sink his possible candidacy of his for higher office (August 5, 2011).

Aug. 6, 2011 update: For a substantial reply to Christie’s rant, answering him point-by-point, see the excellent 2,500-word analysis by Andrew C. McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute. Excerpts from his article, “Christie’s ‘Crazies: Sharia is not a figment of our imagination:”

“Sharia concerns can’t be dismissed as ‘crap.’ They help us sort out the pro-American Muslims we want to empower from the Islamists. When we dismiss these concerns, we end up building bridges to all the wrong people, as government has done, to its repeated embarrassment, for two decades. That is how we end up ‘partnering’ with the likes of Abdurrahman Alamoudi and Sami al-Arian (both ultimately convicted, with their ties to terrorism duly exposed); Salam al-Marayati, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee leader who argued that Israel should be at the top of the 9/11 suspect list; and such Islamist organizations as CAIR and the Islamic Society of North America, which, though not indicted, were shown by the Justice Department to be co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism-financing case.”

Governor Christie would have you believe opposition to Mr. Mohammed was sheer bigotry: “It’s just unnecessary to be accusing this guy of things just because of his religious background,” he railed to reporters. It’s a narrative Christie fans would like to help cement. It’s not true. For the record, Sohail Mohammed is not just an attorney. He served as a board member for an Islamist organization, the American Muslim Union.

McCarthy concludes: “The questions about Governor Christie’s appointment of Sohail Mohammed and his exertions on behalf of Mohammed’s client, Mohammed Qatanani, have nothing to do with either Sharia or the all-purpose smear of Islamophobia. They are about the governor’s judgment. They are about a U.S. attorney with political ambitions pandering to a politically active constituency at the expense of national security and enforcement of the immigration laws. They are about his decision to award a state judgeship to an attorney who was an active and vocal board member of a very troubling Islamist organization — and who has a penchant for presuming that perfectly valid anti-terror prosecutions are, instead, anti-Muslim persecutions. Those questions are not answered by bluster.”

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  • Lucy Muller

    I think Chris Christie would make a great president. Just because he may feel that a certain Islamist is not dangerous, does not mean, Sharia law could get a foothold in this country. The President is not all- powerful. I am a democrat who could vote for Chris Christie easily. Oh, to mention his weight is cruel and a non-issue. He will have a vice-president and he may be trying to lose weight as we speak. I’d rather have him than a perfect Mitt Romney or our current, cigaret-smoking, thin guy.

  • sandie f

    I think he is as much a candidate as any other Republican and he would be much better to conprimise with the Democrates than most. We need someone who can see both sides and stop being so partisan. I am a Demo but he might even get my vote. And to attack someone bec they are fat. They is just stupid.

  • Jerry Stevens

    This is why Christie can’t be president? I thought the number one priority is the deficit. You mean it’s really that we keep Sharia law from becoming the law of the land?
    This isn’t why Christie can’t be president. This is why no one we nominate can become president. We’ll nominate someone ideologically pure who hates Muslims and will go over a cliff in the general election.

  • Buck Turgidson

    He’s also fat. Very fat. The last time we elected someone that fat was Taft. Taft was a decent guy, Chris Christie is an arrogant fat slob, the end.

  • sc341

    I believe the Republican base would vote for Christie because they hate Obama so much.

  • joe

    Christie is a moderate on gun control,abortion and supports civil unions . Those 3 facts alone make him very MODERATE and will not appeal to the now very conservative
    Repub party.

  • Michael Reay

    You got the wrong organisation in regards to Salam al-Marayati, its the Muslim Public Affairs Council, not ‘Committee’ that’s an unrelated UK organisation.

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