Chris Christie knocks Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio as inexperienced

Story highlights

  • Chris Christie said Tuesday that rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio lack the experience to handle anti-terrorism
  • The former federal prosecutor said that he was the only candidate who has used tools like the PATRIOT Act

Washington (CNN)Chris Christie lit into rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio on Tuesday, saying the two senators lack the experience he has dealing with terrorism and homeland security.

Asked on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" about his comment Monday night that it was not time for "amateur hour" in the White House, Christie explained that he was referring to Cruz and Rubio, both freshman senators.
"I didn't get briefed in some basement in Capitol Hill and have to give a vote on subcommittee which I could vote differently in the full committee and then differently on the floor," Christie said. "This isn't about just blowing hot air."
    Christie, who was a former federal prosecutor, argued he was the only candidate who has actually used anti-terrorism tools developed in the wake of 9/11.
    "I'm the only person on stage that's used the PATRIOT Act, I'm the only person on that stage that's used the FISA court, I'm the only person on that stage who has actually fought terrorism, knows how to use those tools, and knows how to bring to terrorism to heel," Christie said.
    It's a common refrain Christie has gone to since the Paris attacks, but one that has garnered more attention since the New Hampshire Union Leader endorsed him over the weekend.
    The New Jersey governor continued playing on his experience Tuesday during a stop in Londonderry, New Hampshire, where he said voters might get excited by new candidates, but routinely land on experienced ones like him.
    "New is great. Right? Whenever we see something new, we think it's great. It's exciting, it's shiny, it's untarnished, it looks fabulous and gives us a little bit of thrill," Christie said. "New is great ... until you need experience. Then you'll wish that coin was a little more tarnished. You'll wish it was beat up a little bit and gone through some things."