Washington (CNN)GOP presidential contender Chris Christie on Wednesday slammed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for suggesting terrorists had a "rationale" in attacking the headquarters of the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo earlier this year.
Christie: Kerry 'needs to get some sleep and shut up'
"He needs to get some sleep and shut up," Christie said of Kerry on Fox News, before bulldozing President Barack Obama over his rhetoric and policies in combating ISIS, the terrorist group that has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attacks in Paris last week.
Speaking Tuesday in Paris, Kerry contrasted last week's attack that killed 129 people with the January attack on Charlie Hebdo, saying he believes there was "a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they're really angry because of this and that."
"This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate. It wasn't to aggrieve one particular sense of wrong. It was to terrorize people. It was to attack everything that we do stand for," Kerry continued in his remarks at the U.S. Embassy in Paris.
State Department spokesman John Kirby sought later Tuesday to clarify Kerry's remarks, tweeting that Kerry "didn't justify Hebdo attacks, simply explained how terrorists tried to. As he said at time, it was a cowardly & despicable act."
But Christie did not dwell on Kerry's remarks, instead training his sights on Obama and his would-be Democratic successor Hillary Clinton, both of whom Christie slammed as attempting to demonize Republicans.
While Clinton and Obama remain in favor of allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S., Republican candidates — including Christie — have forcefully called for keeping those refugees out of the U.S. for fear that terrorists could infiltrate their ranks.
"The President lives in a fantasy world," Christie said. "He sees the world as he wishes it were rather than the way it is."
Christie this week came out strongly against allowing Syrian refugees into the country, saying that even "orphans under 5" should not be admitted into the U.S. — a stark reversal from his position earlier this fall when Christie called the U.S. a "compassionate country" and said the U.S. should take in refugees in coordination with allies.
Seeking to capitalize on the new injection of national security concerns into the 2016 presidential race, Christie touted his experience as a U.S. Attorney in prosecuting terrorism cases.
"I'm the only one on that stage who has experience fighting terrorism," Christie said. "We need a President who is strong and unafraid to make decisions."