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Public Statements

MSNBC "Hardball with Chris Matthews" - Transcript

Interview

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Date:
Location: Unknown

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Congressman Jon Runyan is a Republican of New Jersey. He met with Speaker
Boehner this afternoon. He joins us now.
Good to see you, Congressman. What did Speaker Boehner say today?

REP. JON RUNYAN (R), NEW JERSEY: Well, he really touched on what you
really said, starting it off Friday with the relief on the flood insurance
aspect of it, and really capping it off and taking the vote I think we all
think we should have been taking this afternoon, taking that on January 15.
You know, I -- and I think what Speaker Boehner really said when he first
sat down, he goes: "I know there`s been a lot of frustration, a lot of
anger that`s been directed at me." And he goes: "I own it. I deserve it."
He goes -- I don`t know. He could -- just kind of explained it where he
didn`t feel it was the right situation or he didn`t like the vote count he
had for the fiscal bill, which I would disagree with, because, like I think
you just had the quote of Congressman Lobiondo there, saying, this is
disaster. This is disaster relief.
We`re already 66 days into this process. You know, people are suffering.
And it`s about getting them the relief they need. And it`s frustrating to
be able to sit here and be two years and at the end of the Congress come
tomorrow still making these same mistakes, dragging these things on,
instead of making the decision and moving on.

SMERCONISH: Well, and it`s also self-inflicted, because at least from the
outside looking in, you look at this and you say, of course they`re going
approve a superstorm Sandy package of relief. Why wouldn`t they?
And then to have this delay go off the clock is just a further wounding of
the party.

RUNYAN: And it is very, because it -- like you -- like you just said,
Michael, it`s self-inflicted.
And I don`t think -- I think everybody, bipartisan, bipartisan-wise, would
say, this is going to happen. Why are we delaying it? Let`s get it done.
The -- you have heard the rhetoric back and forth of the Senate bill coming
over here. And I think the -- what we have in place here in the House,
we`re actually going to clean that up, make it disaster-related, take all
the pork, take those Senate earmarks out of there, make it a clean bill,
and do what it`s intended to do is help the people, my constituents, the
residents of New Jersey, New York.
That`s what the job is. And putting this off is only going to hurt us in
the long run, because you forget about this. And, Michael, I know you know
the Delaware Valley region pretty well. The Jersey Shore is a $34 billion-
a-year industry.

SMERCONISH: Sure.

RUNYAN: And if that`s not close to up and running when it comes spring-
summertime, that`s going to take a hit to our economy in New Jersey.

SMERCONISH: Hey, Congressman, let me ask you a question, if I might, about
your governor, because of course soon Chris Christie will stand for
reelection. And here he is so straightforwardly commenting and criticizing
Speaker Boehner.
And it comes on the heels of him appearing with President Obama. I guess
my question is, within the party, does the Republican apparatus get tired
of its governor stepping out of line from the typical partisan mode?

RUNYAN: No, I think what Governor Christie brings to the table is kind of
what the American people are looking for, somebody that is going to shoot
them straight.

SMERCONISH: Right.

RUNYAN: If you have got to call names and call people to the mat and hold
people accountable, that`s what needs to be done. Accountability at the
end of the day is, I think, what everyone`s frustrated about.
It`s what I`m frustrated about. That`s why I ran. That`s why I got
involved. And it`s here every day trying to push somebody, trying to kick
somebody in the seat of the pants just to do their job and take care of
their constituents.

SMERCONISH: Got it.
Congressman Jon Runyan, thank you very much.

RUNYAN: Thank you.

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