The Washington Post

Christie sidesteps Hobby Lobby ruling as other potential White House hopefuls weigh in

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) declined to offer an opinion Tuesday on the Supreme Court's ruling that some employers can opt out of covering certain contraceptives for employees if it violates their religious beliefs. His silence puts him at odds with several other potential Republican candidates for president, who swiftly lauded the decision.

"Who knows? Is the Supreme Court right?" Christie said when asked about the ruling on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "The fact is that when you're an executive, your Supreme Court makes a ruling, and you've got to live with it unless you can get the legislative body to change the law or change the Constitution."

(Christie's remark can be seen in the video above at around the 15:50 mark.)

Christie continued, "The point is, why should I give an opinion on whether they're right or wrong? At the end of the day, they did what they did. That's now the law of the land unless people in the elected branches try to change it."

The governor, who discussed the New Jersey budget he just signed, said the ruling is not "the most central issue that we need to talk about this morning."

Many Republicans quickly issued statements hailing the Monday ruling, including several who are possible candidates for president.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) hailed the ruling as a "landmark victory for religious liberty." Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) said the high court "formally recognized" that "religious liberty is a good thing." Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said the court "ruled in favor of religious freedom." Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called the ruling "a reaffirmation of America’s commitment to religious freedom."

On his own presidential ambitions, Christie said, "I'm elected to a second term in New Jersey, and I haven't made any decision about whether I'm going to run for president or not."

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.



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