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FOX "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace" - Transcript: Re-Election to Governor

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CAMERON: Christie is credited with quite literally uniting Jersey in a storm. But united Republicans across the country is much different and a lot tougher, especially considering the divisions between the Tea Party and the GOP establishment right now -- Chris.

WALLACE: Carl, thank you.

And we are joined now by the newly reelected governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie.

Governor, congratulations and welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

CHRISTIE: Thanks for having me, Chris, I am happy to be here.

WALLACE: Governor, how interested are you in running for president in 2016?

CHRISTIE: Well, Chris, what I am interested in doing is being the governor of New Jersey. And the fact is we've got a lot of things to do, a lot of things to focus on. And I know everybody is going to be speculating about what may come in my future and lots of other people's future in our party, but the fact is, I'm focused on being the governor of New Jersey and being the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and I think those two jobs will keep me pretty busy over the next year.

WALLACE: All the same, you did some things on Election Day that national Republicans could only dream of, and let's take a look at those.

You won 57 percent of women, 51 percent of Hispanics, and 42 percent of Democrats, and you said the reason is because in New Jersey, you worked with the other side to get things done.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: I know that if we can do this in Trenton, New Jersey, maybe the folks in Washington D.C. should tune in their TVs right now to see how it's done.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Governor, what do folks in Washington, especially Republicans, need to do differently if they want to start winning more elections?

CHRISTIE: Well, I think it applies to everybody, Chris, because as I've said before, I think there is plenty of blame to go around in Washington to both parties. The fact is that they need to get the job done. That's what people want.

And what our election was about was a record that showed that we can get the job done -- 143,000 new private sector jobs, reformed pension and benefits, slowed the growth of property taxes, cut business taxes $2.3 billion, you know, reformed teacher tenure.

These were all things that we got done in New Jersey, with a Democratic legislature, got them done in a bipartisan way. So, what I was saying on Tuesday night, what I've been saying all along is that you can govern with the principles that I have -- reforming tenure, cutting budgets. We spent less, Chris, in fiscal '14 than we spent in New Jersey in fiscal year '08, in actual dollars.

I mean, we did all this in a bipartisan way, working across the aisle, getting things done.

That's what people in New Jersey want. I said -- which the election results show from last Tuesday. And that's what people across the country I think want as well.

WALLACE: Governor, if -- and I know it's an if -- you do run for president, you are first going to have to win the Republican nomination, and the knock against you, which you know, is that from some parts of the party is that you are not conservative enough.

So, let's do a lightning round, quick questions/quick answers on some of your positions.

First of all, do you still favor comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship?

CHRISTIE: Chris, what I favor is fixing a broken system, and the fact is that everybody knows the system is broken. And what Congress needs to do is get to work, working with each other and the president to fix a broken system that's not serving our economy well, not serving our country well.

WALLACE: You also support some gun controls. Why?

CHRISTIE: Well, listen, Chris, I think that when you look at what we've done in New Jersey, we want to control violence. And some of that may involve firearms, but a lot of it doesn't.

In fact, my focus has been on making sure that mental health is done in a much more aggressive way in New Jersey. Every time we see one of these incidents happen across our country, it is almost exclusively with a deeply disturbed person at the helm, and what we need to do is be much more aggressive about how we deal with mental health issues in this country. So I am for violence control.

WALLACE: But gun control is part of it.

CHRISTIE: Well, it can be. And in New Jersey, I've signed some of those measures, but I've also vetoed measures that I thought were overreaching and not consistent with Second Amendment rights.

So what it is is looking at things, these things case by case, to see does it make common sense, does it control violence?

We need to not pander on these issues. We need to have adults in the room who make decisions based upon controlling violence in our society.

WALLACE: You called Ted Cruz's effort to try to stop ObamaCare by shutting down the government a, quote, "monumental failure." You called Rand Paul's opposition to government surveillance, quote, "dangerous."

Meanwhile, Senator Paul this week took a shot at you for ads that you're running on New Jersey television or ran, post-Hurricane Sandy. Take a look at his comment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: People running for office put their mug all over these ads while they are in the middle of a political campaign. In New Jersey, $25 million was spent on ads that included somebody running for political office. You think there might be a conflict of interest there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Governor, what do you think of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul?

CHRISTIE: Listen, you know what, Chris -- what I am not going to get into is the Washington, D.C. game that you're trying to get me into. I'm the governor of New Jersey, and I'm focused on getting things done, and I think that's why we got 61 percent of the vote on Tuesday night, because I'll work with anyone and everyone who is willing to work with me, consistent with my principles, and the principles that were just affirmed by 61 percent of the voters. Less government spending, business tax cuts, 143,000 new private sector jobs, reformed pension and benefit system, reformed teacher tenure.

You know, the rest of this stuff is just the game that gets played in Washington, which is why people hate Washington, D.C. That kind of garbage is why people don't like it, so I'm not going to get into that.

WALLACE: Governor, as you know, there is a new "Politico" book out about the 2012 campaign called "Double Down," in which it reports that Governor Romney decided not to choose you as his running mate because of too many, quote, "red flags," and what they talk about are spending too much as U.S. attorney, your work as a lobbyist for the securities industry, steering government contracts to donors and allies.

Your response, sir?

CHRISTIE: Well, you know, the only person who hasn't said that is Governor Romney, who has completely refuted what they said in the book. He did it immediately after the book came out.

So, again, this is part of the parlor game of Washington, D.C., which has nothing to do with my record in New Jersey or what I've done in New Jersey. And we're proud of that record, and I'm going to continue to work really hard over the next four years as governor of New Jersey to make sure I continue to bring people together and accomplish things like lowering taxes, increasing private-sector employment, shrinking the size of government -- all the things that are so consistent with the principles of my party.

WALLACE: "Time" magazine has your silhouette on the cover of the magazine this week, along with the headline, "The elephant in the room" -- and I got to tell you, Governor, more than any other question people wanted me to ask you how you feel about that.

CHRISTIE: Oh, who cares? I mean, seriously. I'm on the cover of "Time" magazine, you know? It is certainly not the first weight joke that has been thrown my way over the course of the last four years, Chris.

CHRISTIE: So you know, it doesn't matter to me. I haven't seen the issue yet, I've just seen the cover. I haven't read the issue yet. It does not matter to me, it really doesn't, and if you're going to be bothered by that kind of stuff, then you don't belong in public leadership. They can say whatever they like, it's fine by me.

WALLACE: Now, maybe it's the election victory, because you seem very even-tempered this morning, but I think it's fair to say that over the course of your career, sometimes you have a little bit of a short temper.

And we have to ask you, again, and this is a presidential question, do you have the patience for you call it the garbage, the parlor game of being picked apart by other politicians, being picked apart by us in the media for two years if you decide to run for president?

CHRISTIE: Listen, I'm the governor of New Jersey, and if you don't think that being governor of New Jersey tries your patience, then you haven't spent enough time in my state, Chris.

I am absolutely confident in my own ability to lead, and obviously so are 61 percent of the people in the state of New Jersey, who reelected me on Tuesday night. And they reelected me because of a record that we're really proud of, and because we've brought people together.

You know, at the end of the day, Chris, here's what the people in Washington, D.C. don't understand -- if you want to win a vote by that kind of margin, if you want to attract the majority of the Hispanic vote, if you want to nearly triple your African-American vote, you need to show up, you need to go into those neighborhoods, you need to campaign in places.

I'll give you a perfect example, Chris. I did a town hall meeting while I was governor about a year and a half ago in the city of Irvington, New Jersey, in Essex County. I got 4.7 percent of the vote there in 2009. There were more people in the church I did the town hall than voted for me in 2009.

That's the way the Republican Party will make themselves more relevant to a much broader group of folks. And the fact is that that's exactly what Ronald Reagan would have done, and did do, when he was campaigning for president. I did that campaigning for governor because I believed it is what's right to do as governor when you represent all the people, not just the people who vote for you.

WALLACE: Governor Christie, thank you, thanks for coming in today. Always good to talk with you, sir, and please come back.

CHRISTIE: Chris, thanks for having me on. It's great to be on "Fox News Sunday." It's a great program.

WALLACE: Thank you, sir.

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