Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said Republicans voting to oust former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy from the seat last Tuesday were “wholly irresponsible” and have prevented Israel from receiving aid amidst the Islamist militant group Hamas’ attack over the weekend.
During a Sunday morning appearance on ABC’s This Week, host George Stephanopoulos asked Christie how he would respond to the attack on Israel if he were President. Christie took aim at House Republicans who voted to remove McCarthy and suggested Israel could not receive sufficient U.S. support because there is no current Speaker of the House.
“What I would be doing is making sure that Israel has everything that it needs to be able to take whatever actions it needs to take,” Christie said. “The actions taken by some members of my party were wholly irresponsible without this going on.”
The former New Jersey governor reiterated the “irresponsibility” of House Republicans ousting McCarthy last week.
Christie also suggested the U.S. should enter discussions with allies in the Middle East to prevent escalation in Israel.
“You’ve gotta be talking to the Saudis, to the Emiratis, and to others to make sure Jordanians … that we keep things contained in that area,” Christie said. “[Also] speaking to Netanyahu and making sure that you’re a sounding board for him to think through the ramifications of every step they’re going to take to defend themselves and to try to do the best they can to eliminate the leadership of Hamas that has made the decision to do something as horrific as what was done this week.”
The attack on Israel shines a "brighter light" on the “irresponsibility” of House Republicans paralyzing the chamber by ousting Kevin McCarthy from his speakership, GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie tells @GStephanopoulos. https://t.co/S86AemsFBY pic.twitter.com/jipDiiECie
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) October 8, 2023
Last week, Florida Representative Matt Gaetz spearheaded efforts to remove McCarthy as Speaker of the House after it was revealed the former Speaker had agreed to future Ukraine aid with House Democrats in a closed-door meeting. Gaetz was joined by fellow House Republicans Andy Biggs and Eli Crane of Arizona, Ken Buck of Colorado, Tim Burchett of Tennessee, Bob Good of Virginia, Nancy Mace of South Carolina, and Matt Rosendale of Montana.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and Ohio Representative Jim Jordan have officially declared their bid for Speakership. Oklahoma Representative Kevin Hern has reportedly expressed interest in seeking the seat while other House Republicans have nominated former President Donald Trump for Speaker of the House.
Trump has said he may accept an interim stint as Speaker of the House for a few months, though officially endorsed Jordan for Speaker Thursday evening.
Congress will reconvene tomorrow and a Speaker vote is expected on Wednesday.
McCarthy is the first Speaker of the House to be removed from the seat in U.S. history.