New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Tuesday called on President Trump to “move on” from trying to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, saying there’s no political will in Congress to get it done.
“I’d advise [President Trump] to move on and move on to other priorities like tax reform and infrastructure,” Christie said during an interview with Nicolle Wallace on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House.”
“I just don’t think there’s a will in Congress right now. I think they’ve shown that there’s no will in Congress for them to work with each other.”
Christie predicted that Trump would find allies in the Democratic Party if he moved on to issues like tax reform and infrastructure.
“I think both tax reform and infrastructure lend themselves to being less partisan than healthcare,” he said. Not nonpartisan, but less partisan than healthcare. I think you can find Democrats who will agree with you on infrastructure. I think you can find Democrats who will agree with you on aspects of tax reform.”
Tax reform and infrastructure spending would “rebuild the heart and the soul of this country in a way that only the federal government can do, in partnership with the states,” Christie argued.
Trump is slated to host Republican senators at the White House for lunch on Wednesday to plot a path forward after their healthcare plan collapsed.
Most of Christie’s interview Tuesday was devoted to last week’s revelation that Donald TrumpDonald TrumpDem lawmaker wears Trump, Putin 2016 hat for ‘Made in America’ week Christie: Trump should ‘move on’ from healthcare Overnight Cybersecurity: Dem campaign arm embraces encryption | Panel signs off on .8B for DHS cyber office | Dems want review of pipeline security MORE Jr. met with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 with the intention of receiving “incriminating” information on his father’s Democratic presidential rival Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonDem lawmaker wears Trump, Putin 2016 hat for ‘Made in America’ week Christie: Trump should ‘move on’ from healthcare Top Clinton and Romney campaign heads to jointly fight election hacking MORE.
Christie said that he wouldn’t have taken the meeting, but that Trump Jr. was less “sophisticated” on matters of politics.
“It’s not a meeting, from my perspective, that I would have been anxious to take,” Christie said. He added that any “smart person” would have contacted the campaign’s lawyer under similar circumstances.
“You’re saying Don’s not smart?” Wallace questioned.
“No, I’m saying he’s not sophisticated in this stuff,” Christie responded.
Christie also defended the Trump campaign amid scrutiny of its ties to Russia amid probes into possible collusion with the Kremlin.
“Collusion in and of itself is not a crime,” Christie, a former federal prosecutor, said during one exchange.
“Receiving information from a foreign government that’s of value could be a crime.”
Christie, who became a top Trump ally after he dropped out of the 2016 GOP primary, was once considered a top contender to be Trump’s attorney general.
Christie: Trump should ‘move on’ from healthcare