ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. (AP) - Gov. Chris Christie on Monday said that unlike President Donald Trump, he doesn’t view the media as “the enemy” of the public.
Christie, a friend of Trump’s and fellow Republican, made the comment in response to a reporter’s question in Englewood Cliffs where he was announcing the state’s unemployment rate. Trump last month tweeted that the “fake news media” was “the enemy of the American people.”
The governor said he doesn’t take unflattering news reports personally.
“I disagree with the president on that. I never felt that way,” Christie said. “I think you have an important and appropriate role to play, and you have the right to write these stories the way you want to but, in return, I have the right to comment about what I think about those.”
Christie said that from time to time, reporters will get “ratcheted up” and become “somewhat worthy adversaries, but never enemies.”
Christie has pushed legislation that would end a requirement for public legal notices to be published in newspapers.
Newspapers and other opponents of the measure say it amounts to Christie targeting the media. But Christie says it would unburden taxpayers.
Christie cannot seek re-election because of term limits, and is set to leave office in January. He reserved some of his harshest criticism Monday not for the media but for New Jersey political experts who are often quoted in news articles.
“They’ve never done a thing in their lives in the arena, and they sit around and they comment about it,” Christie said after naming several political scientists by name.
Montclair State University political science professor Brigid Harrison, who Christie mentioned by name, attributed the criticism to the governor’s low-approval rating and said the “ivory tower” image doesn’t apply in her case. She cited frequent meetings with voters and students who work on political campaigns.
“It’s out of step with reality,” she said.
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