New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s appearance Wednesday at Newton’s Raceway Cafe had all of the elements of most campaign events — including a bus.
The bus, formerly used for candidate Donald Trump during his Iowa campaigns, is now the property of the anonymous artist t.Rutt, who has hired artists to repaint and drive the bus from Iowa to Philadelphia. Wednesday, the bus was at the town hall style meeting at Raceway Cafe for Christie, the 2016 Republican presidential hopeful, who didn’t acknowledge the bus even when it drove by on First Avenue East during the event.
“Christie is one of the few Republicans whose words have actually helped unify the party,” said Dave Gleeson, who was at the wheel of the bus as it prepared to leave Newton after Wednesday’s event. “The artist believes Christie is one of the people who can help drive Trump to drop out of the campaign.”
The bus features the modified “T.Rump” as both a play on the artist’s pseudonym and its former namesake. It also features the phrase “Women Trump Trump” and “Hasta la Vista, Donny!” among other political slogans related to the candidate.
About 60 people and several Iowa and national media outlets packed inside the Raceway Cafe for Christie’s more than 90 event. The candidate spoke for about 20 minutes and then began taking questions from the attendees, many of which involved economic and national security issues.
One man asked Christie if he would have the courage to pull troops out of Afghanistan. The candidate said he would not keep forces there in an attempt to foster democracy and/or major reform, but he would leave in sufficient military power to prevent another major terrorist organization from forming.
Christie said if the next president is elected to a second term, a bankrupt Social Security fund is most likely going to occur during those second four years. He proposes “taking out less later on instead of putting less in,” referring to how Social Security could be reformed.
The New Jersey governor also warned of the dangers of Middle East collaboration between nations or people who have nothing to lose, and said mental health is bigger issue than gun control. He also said his idea for campaign finance reform is to require the name of every contributor to an individual or party be posted online within 24 hours of a donation, to better track sudden position changes.
The most lengthy dialogue Christie had was with a woman who favors medical cannabis. Christie became frustrated with the woman talking over him, and stuck to his position that marijuana is a “gateway drug” and that he only supports medical cannabis “in rare medical circumstances.”
In response to a question about the George Washington bridge scandal, Christie said he “has hired thousands of people, and a few of them went off the reservation.” He said he was tried and convicted in the media before many facts came to light.
Christie closed by describing himself as someone who doesn’t change positions “as the wind blows.”
“People who don’t agree with me on everything still voted for me more than once,” he said. “You will always know where I stand.”
Contact Jason W. Brooks at 641-792-3121 ext. 6532 or firstname.lastname@example.org