New Jersey governor takes on heroin epidemic

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Christie says America "needs to be committed"

By Liz Miller

Hampton Union, June 22, 2015

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Chris Christie at the Galley Hatch
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie takes questions during a stop at the Galley Hatch Restaurant on Thursday. [Liz Miller photo]

HAMPTON — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie touched on the state’s heroin epidemic, among other topics, while speaking for Leadership Matters For America PAC Inc.’s “Tell It Like It Is” town hall series at the Galley Hatch Restaurant on Thursday.

Christie addressed the heroin problem after a question was posed by an audience member.

“This is a disease, not a moral failing,” Christie said, later suggesting that heroin addiction might be related to genetics. “It happens everywhere, to every family. There’s no one unscathed,” he said.

Christie put forward ideas about treatment for addicts in place of incarceration, saying that “the war on drugs has been well intended, but it hasn’t worked.” The governor suggested that such a plan would be smart from a moral and economic standpoint, as it is often “more expensive” to incarcerate than to treat an addiction.

“This isn’t about hard or soft, this about practical and what works,” Christie said, emphasizing that America “needs to be committed” to addressing the growing problem.

The governor also touched on health care in a broader sense, suggesting that “the biggest problem with Obamacare is the theory that underlies it.” Under the impression that Obamacare is trying to address too broad of an audience, he proposed a state-based system.

Christie also focused on national security. “Obama’s weakening of security,” he said, “has been noticed by me and others who may consider running for president.”

“We need to be the world’s leader,” he said. “A strong America makes a safe world.” Christie suggested keeping intelligence laws “strong,” raising social security by two years over the next 25 years, mending relationships with Canada and Mexico, and “hugging” national entitlement reform.

A reason he might consider running for president, he said, is that he doesn’t want to “sit by idly” and let his kids face a less safe America. “If I do run for president, you won’t agree with me on everything, I can guarantee that,” he said.

He also guaranteed that people will never have to “wonder” about him, due to the fact that he is often criticized for being too “direct” and “blunt.”

“It’s my job to tell you the truth as I see it, not to make you happy,” Christie said. “The first job of the president of the U.S. is to protect the safety and security of the people.”


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