New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) went out of his way to slam former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) during a Tuesday night interview.
Christie brought up his presidential rival on Fox News when he was asked how GOP candidates should strike the right balance on immigration issues.
“You don’t need to be pandering to one way or the other. I’ll tell the way you don’t do it: You don’t do focus-group-tested trips to the border, speak Spanish, and then criticise Asians. I mean, I don’t think that’s the way you do it,” Christie replied.
This was a direct reference to Bush, who earlier this week travelled to the border town of McAllen, Texas, and generated controversy by saying the term “anchor baby” is more applicable to immigrants from Asia than Mexico.
Democrats attacked Bush and said they found his comments offensive. “Anchor baby” is a pejorative term used to describe the children of people who come to the US to have a child with automatic American citizenship. As Bush’s team pointed out, federal agents have recently raided “birth tourism” businesses catering to Chinese women who want their offspring to have US citizenship.
Speaking with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, Christie then directly named Bush and questioned his ability to challenge Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We don’t need a candidate who’s looking backwards, who can’t even answer a question on ‘anchor babies.’ We need to have someone who’s going to be looking forward and doing things the right way,” he said. “And I’m not trying to be coy about it: The fact is that if Gov. Bush cannot stand up to answer those questions with two or three tries at it, what’s going to happen when he has to look at Vladimir Putin? “
Reached for comment, Bush campaign communications director Tim Miller pointed Business Insider to his earlier tweet that referred to both Christie’s interview and another attack against Bush’s alleged inability to work with teachers’ unions.
“In the last week Chris Christie has attacked Jeb for being too tough on teachers unions and speaking Spanish,” Miller wrote, dryly. “We’ll take it.”
Watch Christie’s Fox News interview below:
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