- Chris Christie on Thursday criticized rivals Ben Carson's across-the-board cuts to federal spending and Marco Rubio's "defeatist attitude" toward Washington.
- "That doesn't work. It doesn't work and it winds up hurting programs we don't want to hurt," he said in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on The Lead, pledging to use a "scalpel. not a meat-ax to cut out the fat of government."
Asked whether he agreed with Carson's proposed 3% to 4% reductions in the size of agencies and spending programs, Christie said he did not.
"That doesn't work. It doesn't work and it winds up hurting programs we don't want to hurt," he said in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on "The Lead," pledging to use a "scalpel, not a meat-ax to cut out the fat of government."
The New Jersey governor, once seen as a top-tier candidate after his 2013 re-election run but now sitting in the back of polls, also weighed in on the rise of Rubio, who is doing steadily better in recent surveys than those taken before the last GOP debate. Rubio has come under recent criticism for a poor attendance record in the Senate, which Rubio has defended by downplaying the impact he can make in Washington.
"Marco and the people of Florida are going to have to decide whether they think that's a valid excuse or not," Christie said. "But I just tell you that's the same kind of defeatist attitude that's putting Washington in the place that it's in."
"I just think that Senator Rubio on this one misunderstands the positive role that a Republican Congress could make in framing the issues for the American people," Christie added.