Keene, N.H.’s Historical Society of Cheshire County hosted a town hall meeting with 2024 Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie on Friday, Sept. 29.
Christie previously served as the governor of New Jersey from 2010 to 2018 and as United States Attorney for New Jersey from 2002 to 2008 and was also a federal prosecutor.
Members of the community had the opportunity to ask Christie questions regarding his run for the presidency and what he values as a leader.
In regards to communities with high crime rates, Christie said to the audience he intends to tell the attorney general to, “have the federal government go in there and we’re going to enforce the laws against violent crime.”
Additionally, Christie said if you commit a crime, no matter who you are, you will be held accountable.
“If we say we’re the party of law and order, then we got to be for the law and order from everyone, for everyone,” Christie said. “And there are no excuses because we like them or because they’re in our party, no, if you’re breaking the law you need to be held to account.”
Another form of action Christie will be taking if elected president is to tackle the United State’s debt, which he said is currently $33 trillion dollars.
“If I become president, we’re not going to fix this in four years; I’m not going to lie to you like Donald Trump did. The hole is too big, but in eight years, we could get it moving in the right direction and we have to,” he said.
Additionally, Christie said he would revise the U.S. Immigration System in order to control the amount of people coming in from the border.
“We need to fix the Immigration System in this country and it’s not just about the border, it only starts there,” Christie said. “Day one I’ll sign an executive order that says the National Guard to the southern border, to partner with customs and border control officers to do two things: stop the flow of illegals coming into this country and slow the flow of fentanyl coming into this country, we need to do both, not one or the other, both.”
Christie said regulating the border will allow for a safer and smoother process for people to emigrate into the U.S. and also help with debt.
“We need people working and paying taxes and filling those [vacant] jobs and we need people to emigrate to this country to do it… We need to fix the immigration system and make it a merit-based immigration system.”
Christie added America was a place where everyone who has a dream can make that life a reality. He said he does not want the U.S. to lose that status. Members of the audience asked Christie questions expanding across various topics such as gun control, the war in Ukraine, social security, and energy policy.
In response to gun control, Christie said, “Let’s say we banned all [weapons] tomorrow, all of them, not just AR-15 … we’d still have 350 million guns in circulation in this country … Now you have to go get those, then I’m going into people’s homes and saying, ‘I know you legally bought this at one time, but now we don’t feel so good about this.’”
Instead of banning weapons, Christie said the country needs to, “Get much more aggressive on the mental health treatment that we provide to people and that we make it mandatory for people who speak out in that way.”
In addition to strengthening mental health programs, Christie believed security in schools should be strengthened to help prevent mass shootings in schools.
“In the end, what we care about the most is not where they can skip in and out of school feeling like they don’t have a care in the world, but they can actually walk in and are able to walk out and they’re alive.”
15-year-old Quinn Mitchell of Walpole, N.H. has attended presidential candidate meetings throughout the state of N.H. including Christie’s several times.
“The hard part about going to see certain politicians so many times is you basically know the answer to every single question and I don’t like asking questions that I can easily Google or watch some C-SPAN recording of,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell at one point took the mic and asked Christie directly, “How can you win over MAGA voters?”
Christie responded by saying he is not a “never-Trumper” and he was not the one to leave Trump, but Trump left him.
“He left me by not telling the truth. He left me about when he lied about the 2020 election, he left me when he stood there on January 6 and told those people to go march up to Capitol Hill and then sat in the Oval Office… for hours and did nothing about it,” Christie said.
Christie acknowledged his party is not working together properly, but said that is okay.
“We need to have different opinions and not everybody should be agreeing on everything. That would be a really boring party.”
Christie addressed the audience and said even though members of the Republican party disagreed, he asked for their vote to make his plans a reality.
Christie added he would be a president, “Who will actually get the job done and [I did] it in one of the toughest blue states as a conservative Republican and nobody else on that stage can say that including the former president.”
Nicole Dumont can be contacted at