Chris Christie may love his home state of New Jersey, but that does not mean he gets to insult other states. Earlier this week, in an attempt to support his contention that, while he is governor, New Jersey will not be legalizing recreational marijuana, Christie had some harsh things to say about Colorado. That did not sit well with their governor, John Hickenlooper. In a response to the negative comments, the Colorado governor gave the New Jersey governor what for. In a nutshell, Chris Christie got schooled.
To be fair, the comments made by Christie were not so much an attack on Colorado, but a defense of New Jersey. However, when the words came out of his mouth, they took on a distinct “New Jersey is better than Colorado” tone. Citing the marijuana shops that are surely popping up on every street corner and the scads of potheads who are hopping on airplanes with the sole purpose of getting stoned in Denver or Fort Collins, Christie stated that he simply does not want that kind of “quality of life” for New Jersey.
Interestingly, his opinion is in clear opposition to the 49 percent of voters who recently said that they would like to see recreational use of marijuana made legal. At the very least, 65 percent said that an end to penalties for small amounts would be acceptable. For the record, New Jersey is one of 21 states that has legalized the medical use of marijuana.
As for Colorado, when their governor got wind of what Christie had to say, Hickenlooper organized a sound response. He defended the state by qualifying their quality of life. He included a list of areas of importance, like science and business, where Colorado is definitively ahead of New Jersey. The list was titled, “Top 8 Ways Colorado Kicks the S*#@ Out of New Jersey.” Indeed, Governor Chris Christie got schooled.
Wisely, it was also pointed out that since Christie is still considering a run for the Republican nomination for President in 2016, he should have chosen his words more carefully. With nine electoral votes, Colorado is a swing state. That is something for the governor to consider next time he talks about a state other than his own.
When standing on principle, it is not enough to make reasoned judgments and rational arguments. It is also important not to make any enemies while doing so. He would have been much better off if he had voiced concern for what the new marijuana law may do to what is an exemplary quality of life in Colorado. He could have even gone so far as to say, “Though we are not going that way ourselves here in New Jersey, I really hope it proves to be as lucrative for Colorado as they have predicted.”
Instead, in typical Christie style, he painted a picture that just does not exist and managed to insult an entire state. Kudos to Governor Hickenlooper for not only responding and defending his state but for doing so with humor and fun facts. Maybe Governor Christie will counter with his own list. New Jersey certainly leads Colorado in chemical plants and car thefts. Better yet, maybe Christie will apologize and concede defeat. Without a doubt, this week, Chris Christie got schooled.
Opinion by Stacy Lamy