Gov. Chris Christie’s blunt talk has long been one of his hallmarks.
But Christie, who has verbally tangled with many, showed Wednesday he’s willing to aim his barbs at the highest echelons of his own party.
In a State House news conference, Christie blasted Republican U.S. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio for delaying a vote on a $60 billion aid package for Superstorm Sandy recovery.
“Do your job and come through for the people of this country,” Christie pointedly said about Boehner.
Harsh criticism of Boehner by elected officials in New York and New Jersey turned into a bipartisan affair Wednesday. But it was Christie’s remarks that drew the most attention, both for what he said and his willingness, as a Republican with higher aspirations, to so forcefully take on Boehner and Congressional Republicans.
The bill “could not overcome the toxic internal politics of the House majority,” Christie said.
Under pressure, Boehner will schedule a vote Friday to fund $9 billion for the national flood insurance program. A vote on the remaining $51 billion will take place Jan. 15.
Even before word of the rescheduled votes came out, Christie said he could no longer trust such assurances.
“There is no reason for me at the moment to believe anything they tell me because they’ve been telling me stuff for weeks and they haven’t delivered,” Christie said.
Christie accused House Republicans of focusing on internal politics and “palace intrigue” instead of voting on the bill, which would financially assist states hit by the Oct. 29 storm. Sandy severely impacted New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
“There’s only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims, the House majority and their speaker, John Boehner,” Christie said.
A former prosecutor who flirted with running for president, Christie significantly raised his national profile this year, positioning himself as a tough-talking, no-nonsense chief executive. He delivered the keynote speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa and hopscotched around the country to campaign for Mitt Romney and Republican Congressional candidates.