OTR Interviews

Christie: Obama responsible for 'lawlessness' at colleges

GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie tells 'On the Record' why he believes the president has helped fuel an atmosphere of 'lawlessness' in widespread protests on college campuses


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," November 12, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: These campus protests now spilling on to the campaign trail. And New Jersey governor, 2016 GOP candidate Chris Christie is not afraid to place, at least some of the blame, on President Obama

Governor Chris Christie goes ON THE RECORD from Iowa. Good evening, governor.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good evening, Greta. How are you tonight?

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm very well. So, governor, all these -- not all these, but several campuses have protests and I at least read one article which you in part ties this to President Obama. Do you tie these protests to him?

CHRISTIE: Well, what I said, Greta, and I want to be very clear about it is I think the president has allowed a sense of lawlessness and divisiveness to settle in over our country.

And he has not enforced the law in a way that's been both fair and just enough perceived that way. And when people make that determination, they tend to begin to start to take matters into their own hands.

And so I think that the president bears responsibility, not only for that, but for the missed opportunity to bring us together in a much greater way in this country. Promise that he showed during the 2008 campaign, but seven years later, he has totally wasted.

VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of a sense of lawlessness, can you be specific? What has he done that projects that?

CHRISTIE: Not enforcing the law. He hasn't backed up law enforcement, Greta, in any kind of specific way. He has not done the things that a president needs to do to make law enforcement feel as if the president of the United States has their back. He does not enforce immigration law that allow sanctuary cities to sprout up throughout our country, over 200 sanctuary cities now in America.

The president does not enforce the drug laws in this country by allowing states like Colorado, Washington and others to have legalized recreational marijuana. This is a president who decides to pick and choose which laws he wants to enforce, which ones he doesn't. He signs illegally executive orders that now are being stopped by the federal courts. This is a lawless presidency.

He picks and chooses which laws he wants to enforce like he is a dictator. When that kind of thing happens, people in the country begin to think that the legal system, the justice system is not something that is available to them and they begin to take matters into their own hands.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. If you will become president, Chris Christie, what would you do to change this? I mean, how would you sort of restore some of the things that you say that the president has -- at least some of the promises in 2008 to unite that have not happened?

CHRISTIE: Well, first off, Greta, I would rescind all of the illegal executive orders that the president has put in place. I would put in place an attorney general who understood that his job every day was to make sure justice was done in this country without regard to bias, prejudice, or politics.

And that has not happened in this administration. And I would make sure that folks understood that the law was to be followed in this country. And that would, I think, provide assurance to a great number of people in this country who right now believe that you only have to follow the laws you like.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. We had a discussion last week on this show about the fact that $43 million was spent on a gas station in Afghanistan that should have cost $500,000.

There is so much waste in this government. I don't know where to start, there is so much of it. But that's a good place to start.

If you were the president, and from your background as being a U.S. attorney, would you at least convene a grand jury to see where this money is going and who is taking it -- going from $500,000 to 43 million?

Would you think that would warrant at least a grand jury investigation?

CHRISTIE: Yes, I would tell my attorney general they have to look at all of these areas of not just waste, but this is fraud, Greta. There is no doubt about it in my mind about that.

And I think if an appropriate grand jury were convened, they would find fraud and they would find those responsible and those who profited from it. You know when I was U.S. attorney that we prosecuted many American companies who were engaged in ripping off their shareholders, ripping off the American public.

I would have an attorney general who took a very serious look at that. And, by the way, I would tell every cabinet secretary that in the first year, if you couldn't find one penny of waste out of every dollar that we send you to return that money to the Treasury, you wouldn't be the cabinet secretary for year two.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you think this this has been going on. It's not just this president, but it's been forever. At least as long as I can remember in Washington. There's so much government waste and nobody bothers to convene a grand jury to find out where it's going because this is taking our tax payer money. If Haiti were doing it, or if Sudan were doing it, or some other country, we would all be saying that those governments are corrupt.

CHRISTIE: Well, the fact is because people have not seen in quite a long time an aggressive law enforcer as president of the United States. Someone who has a background in being a prosecutor, who understands what it takes to be able to put right back into our lives every day and also someone who understands the tools that are available to prosecutors and demands that they use them.

Those are the kind of things that I have done in my career. And it's what I would bring to the oval office when i become president.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. You are in Iowa. So tell me what question do you get asked the most today in Iowa. What's on top of their minds at least today in Iowa?

CHRISTIE: On top of the minds today in Iowa is terrorism. People are very concerned. Really concerned about this president and the way he is conducting the war on terror. They are concerned about ISIS. They are concerned about Syria.

Folks here in Iowa are really worried. They are worried that America is essentially being walked on around the world. And that it is going to come back to pay real, real costs inside this country and our homeland security.

So folks in Iowa, they are very concerned about terrorism and homeland security and what they know in talking to me is that I'm the only person that has prosecuted terrorists, convicted them and sent them to jail. And I will bring the same attitude in fighting terrorism to the Oval Office.

VAN SUSTEREN: You got rave reviews the other night at the debate. Did it feel good after you finished that debate?

CHRISTIE: I felt great after I finished the debate, Greta. And I felt great for two reasons. First, because people understood exactly where I stood on the issues. There was no calls afterwards that I was unclear or contradictory in anything that I said before.

And, secondly, because I kept the fight focused where it needs to be focused, which is on Hillary Rodham Clinton. The fact is that the American people have to know the liberal, socialist agenda that she is now pursuing as she moves further and further left in her pursuit of the Democratic nomination.

I'm the person, the best person who has been tested and mature enough to stand on that stage next September and prosecute the case against Hillary Clinton. I'm ready to do that and I wanted to make sure everybody at that debate understood I was ready to do it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, nice to see you. I hope you will come back and enjoy Iowa, sir.

CHRISTIE: You bet I will. Thanks for having me on, Greta. And Iowa is always a lot of fun.