By bfreundlich | October 16, 2015
New Jersey Governor and Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie went on record against D.C. statehood Monday. He stated that democratic equality for DC residents is not an issue he thinks about much, but if he thought about it more he’d oppose it.
Governor Christie’s reasons for opposing statehood were filled with misconceptions about the District of Columbia.
Christie first defended his position by asserting that America has the only capital that was created just to be a seat of government. People living in capitals like Canberra, Brasilia, and Buenos Aires – all of which coincidentally have full rights and representation – may disagree with his claim.
Governor Christie went further, explaining that he believes another person in Congress “won’t help.” This demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of the issue. Congressional representation for DC is not about increasing the size of Congress to make it more effective. It’s about equality for the people of the District and ensuring that our founding principle of “No Taxation without Representation” is upheld everywhere.
As a New Jersey native attending college in the District I’ve had a front row seat to the inequalities faced here. I’m very disappointed that my Governor openly accepts denying the democracy I enjoy as a New Jersey resident to 660,000 Americans who pay taxes and fight and die for our country in conflict.
It’s clear from his comments: Chris Christie needs to spend more time studying the issue of D.C. representation if he wants to be President. A presidential candidate cannot willfully ignore and continue to voice misconceptions about an issue deeply related to our founding principles that affects hundreds of thousands of Americans. Especially considering that unlike Congress the President can be held accountable by DC residents.
Benjamin Freundlich is a sophmore at American University currently serving as DC Vote's Communications Intern.