Christie: DeSantis Started Slavery Debate for ‘Political Advantage’

Former Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), a candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), his competitor for the GOP nomination, started the current controversy over how slavery is taught in Florida schools for a “political advantage.”

Partial transcript as follows:

MARGARET BRENNAN: — I want to get to a number of issues with you. One of which right up top are these culture wars. Vice President Kamala Harris, as you know, is taking aim at this Florida guideline in terms of new educational standards, a component of which says, and I’m quoting, “slaves developed skills, which in some instances could be applied for their personal benefit.” Governor DeSantis, who signed a law requiring changes in how race be taught in school, said this was all written by scholars. Here’s exactly what he said.=

GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS: I didn’t do it. And I wasn’t involved in it. But I think- I think what they’re doing is I think that they’re probably going to show- some of the folks that eventually parlayed, you know, being a blacksmith into doing things later- later in life.

BRENNAN: I wonder what you think of this controversy and how it reflects on your party.

CHRISTIE: I think two things, Margaret. First of all, “I didn’t do it, and I’m not involved in it” are not the words of leadership. You know, look, Governor DeSantis started this fire with the bill that he signed. And now he doesn’t want to take responsibility for whatever is done in the aftermath of it. And from listening and watching his comments he’s obviously uncomfortable. This the second part of this is- this is why one of the reasons I’m running, Margaret, you know, we’re arguing about these issues, these smaller issues when we’ve got big issues in our country, like runaway inflation, that continues to hurt families, like an educational system, instead of worrying about this, let’s talk about the falling test scores throughout this country that are making us less competitive with with the rest of the world. You know, we have enormous issues to deal with in this country and around the world. And we’re spending time, and I don’t blame you for asking, but we’re spending time on this as the first question to a presidential candidate on a Sunday morning. You know, the fact is that Governor DeSantis starts these things for political advantage. He tries to take political advantage of them. And then he says, I don’t know, I didn’t do it. I wasn’t involved. I mean, that’s- that’s not leadership, Margaret.

BRENNAN: I understand the point you’re making. But just to be very clear, when you said, focusing on smaller issues, the issue of race is incredibly divisive in this country, you’re not referring to that as one of the smaller issues.

CHRISTIE: No, I’m talking about governors micromanaging curriculum in schools. And the fact is that, you know, if this was such a big issue for Governor DeSantis, he had four years to do this. He only started to focus on this when he decided he wanted to run for president and try to get to the right of Donald Trump. And so, I think people see this as politically manipulative. And I’m talking about, Margaret, we’re dividing our country into smaller and smaller and smaller pieces. And politicians are pitting them against each other to create conflict. And that’s not going to make the country bigger, better, stronger, or freer. And- but if we improve our entire education system, so our kids’ test scores are not going down, but going up, and they can get great jobs and be more competitive with the rest of the world. That’s the kind of thing a president should be inspiring people to do.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

Authored by Pam Key via Breitbart July 23rd 2023