Chris Christie - Position Changes

[Editor's Note: On Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, Chris Christie announced the suspension of his presidential campaign in a Facebook post. He stated, "I ran for president with the message that the government needs to once again work for the people, not the people work for the government. And while running for president I tried to reinforce what I have always believed - that speaking your mind matters, that experience matters, that competence matters and that it will always matter in leading our nation. That message was heard by and stood for by a lot of people, but just not enough and that's ok. I have both won elections that I was supposed to lose and I've lost elections I was supposed to win and what that means is you never know what will happen. That is both the magic and the mystery of politics - you never quite know when which is going to happen, even when you think you do. And so today, I leave the race without an ounce of regret. I'm so proud of the campaign we ran, the people that ran it with me and all those who gave us their support and confidence along the way. Mary Pat and I thank you for the extraordinary display of loyalty, friendship, understanding and love."]

We are not suggesting that position changes are good or bad. We understand they are important to voters, which is why we have included them. We list the current position as Now X (Pro, Con, or Not Clearly Pro or Con) and the former position as Formerly Y (Pro, Con, or Not Clearly Pro or Con).
Now Not Clearly Pro or Con

"I am proud to be a pro-life Republican. I believe that every life is an individual gift from God, and that no life is disposable... One proposal that brings Americans together is the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which would protect unborn children beginning at 20 weeks, or five months of pregnancy, based on their ability to feel pain. America is one of just seven countries that permits elective abortions past this point. We can do far better than this. I urge Congress to take swift action on this important issue."
Source: "Gov. Chris Christie Announces Support of Popular Five-Month Abortion Limit,", Mar. 30, 2015

[Editor's Note: Our question specifically asks whether abortion should be "legal." Thus, if a candidate states that they are pro-life but does not advocate changing the law to make abortion illegal (for example, by overturning Roe v. Wade or supporting a constitutional amendment to do so), then we list them as "Not Clearly Pro or Con."]

Formerly Pro

"What happened was I had been pro-choice... When my wife was pregnant with our daughter, Sarah, who is now 15, we happened to go to one of the prenatal visits at 13 weeks... And I was driving back to work, I said to myself, you know, as to my position on abortion, I would say that a week ago that wasn't a life. And I heard that heartbeat. That's a life. And it led to me having a real reflection on my position. And when I took time to reflect on it, I just said, you know what, I'm not comfortable with that anymore. That was back in 1995, and I've been pro-life ever since."
Source: Piers Morgan Tonight, CNN, June 14, 2011

Back to present position
Now Con

"Megyn Kelly: On the subject of immigration, are you for a path to citizenship?

Chris Christie: I think that's an extreme way to go and I think that quite frankly what Hillary Clinton is doing right now is pandering. That's pandering... So no, I don't believe that's the way to go and I don't believe that's where people are...

Megan Kelly: So you say now that you are not for a path to citizenship, but back in 2010 you said on This Week that you were. What changed?

Chris Christie: I think I've learned over time about this issue and done a lot more work on it... What I'm saying now is that I think we've got to come up with a solution for it, but I think just immediately going to a path to citizenship as Hillary Clinton is proposing to do is just pandering, it's just politics."
Source: The Kelly File, Fox News, May 18, 2015

Formerly Pro

"The president and the Congress have to step up to the plate, they have to secure our borders and they have to put forward a commonsense path to citizenship for people. And until they do that, states are going to struggle all over the country with this problem and so is federal law enforcement that doesn’t have the resources to do it effectively."
Source: "In Case You Missed It: Video & Transcript of Governor Christie's Interview with Jake Tapper on ABC's 'This Week,'", July 26, 2010

Back to present position
Now Not Clearly Pro or Con

"I think we have to keep American troops as an option on the table, but to me it is a later option, not a first option, and the president should have been doing all these other things first."
Source: Joel Aschbrenner, "Christie: If Sending Ground Troops, Go 'Whole Hog,'", Oct. 30, 2015

Formerly Con

"George Stephanopoulos: Let's talk about Iraq and the fight against ISIS... Some of your potential Republican opponents like Lindsey Graham and Rick Santorum say we need 10,000 troops on the ground. Are they right?

Chris Christie: I don't think they're right at the moment, no. I think what we need to do, and this has been one of the failings of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy, is we need to have our allies trusting us again in the Middle East who want to bring this fight -- the Saudis, the Emirates, the Jordanians, the Egyptians, they want to bring the fight to ISIS...

But I don't believe now the idea of putting 10,000 troops on the ground is what we need to do."
Source: This Week , ABC News, June 14, 2015

Back to present position