New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and President Trump have a complicated relationship, but Valentine’s Day brought the two political leaders together in Washington, D.C. for a lunch date.
Discussion on our national drug policy is reportedly what compelled the two to sit down at the White House — and Governor Christies’s wife, Mary Pat, joined her husband, though she probably kept kicking his leg under the table and shooting him looks that screamed, “this was supposed to be our day.”
Things got rocky for Trump and his longtime friend in November when Christie was reportedly booted from his position of influence on the President’s transition team after his loyalty was questioned, according to NBC News. The two reportedly spoke over the telephone last week, prompting an invitation from Trump to return to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Yesterday, during his daily briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer explained that Christie’s extensive experience with combatting the opioid epidemic was a main reason for the meeting.
There has been some speculation recently that Christie could be in line for a high-ranking position within the White House. Initially, Christie turned down several job offers from Trump that he reportedly didn’t consider worth abandoning his post as New Jersey Governor during the last year of his final term.
If President Trump were to tap Christie for the Drug Czar role, Christie’s hot-and-cold record on drug policy reform could prove to be of concern. For example, while the New Jersey Governor has fought hard to end the senseless loss of life at the hands of opiate abuse, he has also exhibited antiquated views on marijuana prohibition, referring to tax revenue garnered from legal marijuana sales as “blood money.”
To his credit, Chris Christie is expected to sign a bill today that would require insurance companies in New Jersey to cover up to six months of rehabilitation treatment for those struggling with addiction as a part of their normal policy. This move demonstrates that the Garden State Governor is at least willing to view drug issues through a health care lens rather than a criminal justice one.
On Christie’s weekly radio show Monday night, he reiterated that he wasn’t ramping up efforts again to obtain a seat on the new administration’s cabinet, instead offering that he expects to finish out his last year as New Jersey Governor before transitioning to the private sector.
However, this lunch meeting yesterday lends credence to the notion that Trump has other plans for Christie. Just last month, the President told the Wall Street Journal, “at some point, we’re going to do something with Chris.”
Cover Image Courtesy of the New York Post