Christie Blames Obama for Lockheed Malfeasance
This was the most interesting candidate gathering I have attended so far, and as is common in such cases, as important both for what was said and what was not. Evidently notoriety has its benefits; the room was packed, and press coverage was far greater than at any other such event where I have been.
After Christie made a statement about rehabilitation for drug addicts, he went around the room shaking hands and fielding questions, constantly surrounded by cameras and press, and expressing his delight at being back in New Hampshire. Give the man credit for knowing how to put on a show; I'd never seen anything like it.
After I shook his hand and said hello, Christie almost evaded me, but when I said I had a question about national defense, we both knew he had to answer, what with the nature of the crowd and press and cameras all around us. I offered a slightly revised version of the Lockheed question, pointing out that DOE's inspector general had reported Lockheed-Martin's illegal use of taxpayer money to lobby for building more nuclear weapons, and expressed my concern that defense policy should be guided by national need, not financial gain.
Amazingly, Christie tried to blame the problem on Obama's presumed vagueness and weakness in defining defense objectives, but when I pressed him by invoking his background as a federal prosecutor and inquired what role the Justice Department should play in these cases, he did state that vigorous and independent inspectors general were necessary in all federal departments, and that they should immediately report any illegalities they discover to the Justice Department for investigation and possible prosecution. He did not say how much weight the White House should put behind such actions.
Photo by Felice Cohen-Joppa