A photo of Aylan Kurdi, a 3-year old Syrian boy who drowned off the coast of Greece during a failed attempt to flee his war-torn nation, has brought new global attention to a growing refugee crisis. At an afternoon campaign stop at a North Country diner, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie described his own, sorrowful reaction to the photo, and charged that President Obama had emboldened America’s enemies.
“That young child today is a symbol for this country’s inaction and this president’s deceit,” said Christie. “This president has allowed these folks to be slaughtered. I frankly can’t imagine as president of the United States how you could permit this to happen on this scale, and now we’re seeing those results. And it’s much different when you read about it, and when you see it — it becomes even more powerful.”
It was one of the sharpest critiques of the president made by any Republican, albeit on a common theme — that by failing to bomb Syria after the use of chemical weapons was proven, the president destroyed his credibility.
“If the president says, we’re going to take you out, and then he doesn’t, then no one pays attention to what the president said,” said Christie.
The governor’s solution resembled the one posited by congressional hawks. There was no need for American forces to go into the Levant, as that might “help recruit folks for ISIS.” Instead, Christie wanted to see “our allies,” from Egypt to the United Arab Emirates, given more weaponry “training down to the battalion level” so that they could eliminate the threat.
But Christie, who fretted that Europe was struggling to deal with the surging wave of refugees, was not ready to let more into the United States.
“Listen, I think we have to work in coordination with our allies around the world,” Christie told The Washington Post. “Certainly, right now, it seems like some of our allies in Europe are being overrun. So I hope, I pray, that Secretary Kerry is taking time off from selling his loser Iran deal to talk to our folks in Europe to see how we could coordinate this and make it right. But those people are in desperate shape. And nobody wants a life where you’re running from your home country and just looking for a place to be safe.”