Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie thinks Republicans lost the optics battle at the State of the Union address by heckling President Biden, specifically when he accused the right of wanting to cut Medicare and social security.
“You don’t want to rise to the bait, and they did. A number of them did,” Christie told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.”
“It doesn’t get you anywhere, and it gave Joe Biden an opportunity to engage them back in a way that was spontaneous, that I think was probably the best part of his entire speech,” he continued.
While Biden made some characteristic calls for bipartisanship during his speech to Congress on Tuesday, he went on the offensive when he said that some Republicans wanted to make cuts to social security and Medicare, prompting jeers and yelling from many GOP members in attendance. The claim was made in connection to a proposal by Florida Sen. Rick Scott to sunset all federal programs within five years.
“The better response would have been to respond to that with laughter,” said Christie. “If you really wanted to respond to the president saying something as ridiculous as the Republicans — because of what one Republican has said, Rick Scott, which was immediately rejected by almost the entire rest the party — what they should have done was laughed at the president then and moved on.”
While Biden and his administration have said that it is not a majority of Republicans in favor of cutting Medicare, they have pushed back on the right’s claims that Sen. Scott is isolated in his support of the cuts. In response to a Fox News story calling Biden’s claims false, the White House tweeted out a clip from an interview with Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson this past week suggesting that social security be privatized.
Watch Christie’s remarks on “This Week” in the clip above.