Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., stopped by the Capitol Monday to have lunch with Republican representatives-elect in the members’ dining room, imparting his own wisdom about finding common ground and getting things done.
“We talked about the importance of winning and then governing, simple as that,” Rep.-elect Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., said after the meeting. MacArthur said Christie’s advice was, “Don’t gloat, get the job done, what the people sent us to do. That’s what we talked about.”
MacArthur also added, “It was not a policy discussion; this was an attitude-molding, you know, this was about our attitude in governing, about being bold in leadership and doing the right thing by people.”
According to MacArthur, Christie received a “tremendous” reception from House Republicans, including a standing ovation.
Though MacArthur said they did not discuss policy, fellow GOP Rep.-elect Ryan Zinke of Montana said the governor, a potential 2016 presidential contender, did highlight three policy areas he would like Congress to tackle.
“He talked about energy policy, tax reform and, thirdly, reducing excessive government regulations,” Zinke told reporters. “So he, over and over, emphasized those three.”
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., also said Christie addressed the GOP’s success in the midterm elections. “We talked also in regards to elections,” said McCarthy. “We looked at how far the governors were able to win. Eight of the nine states that the president carried twice we won, so very impressive.”
Christie stressed finding areas of common ground in an effort to unite the Republican Party, but he apparently did not directly address Republican lawmakers’ role in the partial government shutdown in Oct. 2013, which he criticized as “irresponsible.” However, the New Jersey governor seemed to warn the newly elected Republican members not to repeat the past.
“I think he alluded that shutting the government down is not a good idea,” said Zinke.
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