(NEW YORK) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Monday blasted President Obama over what he said was a failure of leadership to prevent the sequester.
“Real leadership would get this fixed. You get everybody in the room and you fix it, and you don’t let them leave until you fix it,” Christie said at a press conference in Jersey City.
“That’s what real leadership is, not calling a meeting two hours before the thing’s going to hit to have a photo-op in the driveway at the White House,” he said of Friday’s eleventh-hour meeting. ”That’s not real leadership.”
Christie, who has downplayed the much-hyped impact from the automatic spending cuts, also said he’s dumbfounded that both sides have failed to tackle the root causes of the deficit and debt problem. “Seems to me it should be pretty easy to fix,” he said.
On Friday, Obama dismissed the notion that he could have – for lack of a better word – sequestered congressional leaders in the Oval Office until they reached a deal.
“I am not a dictator, I’m the president,” he said at a White House press conference. ”Ultimately, if Mitch McConnell or John Boehner say we need to go to catch a plane, I can’t have Secret Service block the doorway, right?”
“What I can do is I can make the best possible argument. And I can offer concessions and I can offer compromise. I can negotiate. I can make sure that my party is willing to compromise and is not being ideological or thinking about these just in terms of political terms. And I think I’ve done that,” he said. “But what I can’t do is force Congress to do the right thing.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jeanne Sahadi, CNN
Kevin Liptak, CNN
Jeremy Diamond, CNN