On October 11th, Chris Christie–with his best “I’m really sincere” face–said this to NAACP leaders:
“I think its interesting that there’s this perception of ‘disrespect’ towards public employees. I find it fascinating. I really do. And here’s why: I come out and say what I believe needs to be a policy for a state-whether it’s education reform, whether it’s spending reform, whether it’s tax reform, whether it’s litigation reform…any of those issues. I come out and say what I believe. It’s my job as governor. I’m obligated to do that.
I will tell you though, at times, that I feel like the ‘disrespect’ in this relationship has been disproportionate. See, when a public employee union in this state between January of 2010 and mid year of 2013 spends tens of million of dollars in ads that says things like, ‘Chris Christie: He loves millionaires; he hates children.’
No matter of what any of you may think of me politically in this room, I do not believe there is a person of goodwill in this room who believes that I hate children. Not one. But it’s an interesting moment in a public servant’s life when you’re driving down the New Jersey Turnpike, and your children see a billboard that says that their father hates children. Now, of all the things I’ve said over time, about leaders of public employee unions, I’ve never said they hate their children. I’ve never said they hate their family. I don’t think I ever said they hate anybody. It’s a big thing to say, everybody.”
First of all, about the “perception of ‘disrespect’ towards public employees” that the governor simply cannot understand and in no way perpetuates: please. See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Yes: the disrespect certainly has been disproportionate–on Christie’s part.
And about the child-hating: evidently Christie is referring to ads run by the New Jersey Education Association, which was the only organization running anti-Christie billboards during the time frame the governor cites. True, the NJEA did call attention to Christie’s love affair with millionaires–but nowhere, ever, did any NJEA ads accuse the governor of hating children.
Below is a photograph of the actual 2011 NJEA billboard that was part of the union’s “Millionaires for Christie” campaign that year. Since nothing about child-hating jumps out at me when I look at it–perhaps I’m missing something, though–I can only assume that 1) the child-hating message is written in invisible ink, and Governor Christie has invisible-ink vision; 2) the child-hating message is written in code, and the Governor Christie has a secret decoder pen that translated “Tell Governor Christie: protect our schools, not millionaires” to “Chris Christie hates children”; or 3) Chris Christie is actually saying “I hate children” with his eyes in this photograph–and he just doesn’t realize that it’s not explicitly written on the billboard.
Or, perhaps, Christie just lied.
Whatever the explanation, I’d love to see a photograph of the mythical Christie-Hates-Children billboard that the governor says was displayed so prominently on the New Jersey Turnpike sometime between 2010 and 2013. I’m sorry that in all of my travels on that highway during those three years, I somehow missed it.
And finally, to all you union bosses out there: just remember that Chris Christie has NEVER said that YOU hate children.
Just that you use them as “drug mules.
Adding: see Jersey Jazzman’s awesome recap of all the times Christie has disparaged teachers and their unions; he is completely on-point when he concludes that “@GovChristie is SOLELY responsible for a climate of disrespect toward NJ teachers.”