Christie Can't Get Over Sandy, Blasts Cruz for 'Playing Politics'

by | August 31, 2017

By Andrew Seidman

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday blasted U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz as "disgraceful" for defending his opposition to a federal relief package Congress passed in 2013 in response to Superstorm Sandy, even as Cruz pushes for federal aid now amid the flooding and wreckage wrought by Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

"He was playing politics to make himself try to look like the most conservative guy in town," Christie said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

The New Jersey governor, who ran against Cruz in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, offered this advice to the Texas senator: "He should just stand up now and say, 'You know what, I was wrong. I was wrong in 2012. It was the wrong thing to do. And now I hope that the people of New Jersey and New York are willing to let bygones be bygones and vote for relief for Texas.'"

Christie added, "We're happy to be helpful now because we know what the suffering is like."

Sandy slammed the Shore in October 2012, killing more than 150 people in multiple states, damaging or destroying hundreds of thousands of homes, and causing $50 billion in property damage, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Cruz says he supported disaster relief for Sandy victims but argues that the Senate bill became "filled with unrelated pork."

"It's not right for politicians to exploit a disaster ... to pay for their own political wish list," Cruz told MSNBC on Monday, in an interview from what appeared to be a hurricane recovery center in Texas.

Responding to Cruz's remarks, Christie said Wednesday, "The disgraceful part of that, the truly disgraceful part of what we just saw was that he is not telling the truth, standing in a recovery center, where people are suffering."

The Washington Post fact-checked Cruz's statements and found the senator was "wildly incorrect to claim that the bill was 'filled with unrelated pork.'"

The Post gave Cruz "Three Pinocchios."

On Wednesday, Christie played a word-association game with MSNBC hosts.

"Ted Cruz," host Joe Scarborough said.

"Crap," Christie responded.

(c)2017 The Philadelphia Inquirer