July 2, 2015
By Brent Johnson
Marco Rubio, a U.S. senator from Florida, has officially declared. (Photo by John Locher | Associated Press)
TRENTON — Taking what appeared to be a thinly veiled swipe at fellow Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday he wouldn’t build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if he were elected to the White House, according to reports.
Trump — who has drawn fire recently for remarks he’s made about Mexican immigrants — has vowed to build a “great, great wall” along the border to help stem illegal immigration, and to have Mexico pay for it.
But speaking at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on Thursday, Christie said he wouldn’t support such an idea.
“Please be careful about anybody who’s running for president who is going to tell you that they’re going to build a wall across the entire southern border,” Christie said, according to a report by Bloomberg News. “Always beware of of the candidate for public office who has the quick and easy answer to a complicated problem.”
“It’s not going to happen,” he added.
Christie — who visited Mexico on a three-day trade trip last September — said building a wall would not only be costly, but it wouldn’t deter people from crossing the border.
“I’ve never seen a wall that was big enough or tall enough to stop a person who was determined to get over, under or around it,” he said, according to reports.
The governor added that while he no longer supports giving people in the U.S. illegally a pathway to becoming citizens, he does not believe they can all be sent home, according to the report.
Instead, he wants to expand e-verify employment checks and to use drones and electronic surveillance at the border, according to the report.
Christie — who is facing an uphill battle for the Republican nomination — said he will release a more detailed immigration policy later this month.
“Let’s not kid ourselves that this is the easy answer,” he said of a wall, according to the report. “There may be certain spots where it makes sense to build a wall or build a fence. But not the whole thing.”
As for Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul and former Atlantic City casino tycoon has faced backlash after saying “rapists” and “killers” are migrating from Mexico to the U.S. Univision and NBC Universal cuts ties with him and Macy’s announced it is discontinuing Trump’s clothing line.
But Trump defended his remarks in an interview with CNN on Wednesday.
“Well, if you look at the statistics of people coming, you look at the statistics on rape, on crime, on everything coming in illegally into this country, it’s mind-boggling,” Trump said.
Host Don Lemon suggested that the statistics Trump is citing are about women getting raped and not criminals crossing the border.
“Well, somebody’s doing the raping, Don,” Trump replied “I mean, somebody’s doing it. Who’s doing the raping? Who’s doing the raping?”
Trump ranked second among 2016 Republican candidates in a national CNN/ORC International poll released this week. He drew 12 percent of the vote, behind only former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 17 percent.
Christie was tied for 10th with 3 percent.