Christie Is Not One of Us
New Jersey could do much worse, but he is not conservative.

New Jersey governor Chris Christie


Andrew C. McCarthy

Politics is not about getting everything you want; it’s about choosing between available alternatives. My choice in New Jersey, a union-dominated Democratic-machine state, is the hard Left’s unsustainable statism or the more realistic Christie’s moderate (but ultimately unsustainable) statism. That’s no contest. But neither is public approval (especially in this state) a testament to Christie’s conservatism. At a new high of 59 percent, a plateau at which he surely will not stay (Farleigh Dickinson puts it at 56 percent), Christie’s approval rating is just a few points higher than the national approval rating of President Obama, who also remains popular in our blue, blue Garden State.

In the post Glyn targets, my point was that Christie would be a poor choice as Mitt Romney’s running mate — a conclusion with which Glyn actually agrees. If the objective in making the pick is to improve Romney’s chances by balancing the ticket with someone more conservative than Romney, that purpose would not be served by selecting a near-clone of Romney. Another moderate northeastern GOP governor with a soft spot for socialized medicine is not going to energize tea partiers and other Romney-indifferent conservatives. Furthermore, my principal contention in the post, not mentioned by Glyn, was that Christie has been adamant about not being ready to be president. Given that readiness to assume the office is generally taken to be the salient qualification for the No. 2 slot, Christie would seem to be unsuitable on his own account. In any event, my main purpose was not to trash Governor Christie — as a governor for New Jersey, he may be the best we can do at the moment. My post addressed the claim, still making the rounds, that he’d make a good veep choice.

But if Mr. Glyn wants to make this about Christie’s record, fine. Let’s begin with the centerpiece of Glyn’s critique, which purports to address my complaints about what he gently calls “Christie’s differing views on Islam in America” — but what would more accurately be described as Christie’s Islamist sympathies.

I have to say Glyn “purports” to address my complaints because, although he correctly says they are my “main bone of contention,” he studiously avoids describing them. As Glyn must know — because it is linked to in my post — I have laid out my objections to Christie’s (literal) embrace of Islamic supremacists in exacting detail. To summarize, not only did Christie appoint to the state bench a lawyer named Sohail Mohammed, who, besides slandering the Justice Department’s prosecutions of (now convicted) jihadists, served as a board member of an Islamic-supremacist organization (the American Muslim Union); as U.S. attorney, Christie also personally championed a Hamas operative named Mohammed Qatanani and, more shockingly, put his federal office in the service of that operative, in opposition to the federal government’s worthy effort to deport him. Reportedly, U.S. Attorney Christie physically embraced Qatanani, praising him as “a man of great good will,” at an Islamic center in Passaic that was closely linked to the Holy Land Foundation Hamas-financing case — which the Bush Justice Department was prosecuting at that very time. (Indeed, Qatanani’s predecessor as imam of the mosque was one of the defendants convicted in the HLF case — and Qatanani praised and prayed for all those defendants while calling for the end of the “occupation” by Israel and the U.S. of, respectively, Palestine and Iraq.)

Instead of outlining the extensive case I’ve made, Glyn changes the subject to Pamela Geller’s bracing declaration that Christie has taken the Garden State on “its first step to becoming a sharia state” — as if that were an accurate synopsis of what I’ve said. Was Ms. Geller’s statement bombastic? Well, no more so than Christie’s typically sulfurous outburst, upon being called on the Sohail Mohammed appointment, that those who dared question him were bigoted sharia “crazies” who opposed the appointee just because he is a Muslim. But regardless, the case I made was not bombast. It was built on facts that Glyn fails even to mention, much less attempt to refute.