Christie calls out “bigots”

Did the New Jersey governor blow his V.P. chance?; Goldman won't face charges; and other top Friday stories

Topics: Chris Christie, Islamophobia, 2012 Elections, Goldman Sachs, Gay Marriage,

Did Chris Christie just blow his shot at V.P.?: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie turned his signature pugnaciousness on his own party recently, calling out Republican Islamophobic “bigots.” Speaking at a recent dinner for Muslim constituents, he commented, ”In many publications around this country I’m now called an Islamist. Ya know, listen, I’ve been called worse things — usually on the boardwalk on Seaside Heights.” He continued: ”I’ll tell you that there is a gaze of intolerance that is going around our country that is disturbing to me. This is something that as a political leader you can think you understand as an objective observer, but you don’t really understand until you become part of the story.” Christie, who previously served as a U.S. attorney prosecuting terror cases, added that New Jersey Republicans who opposed his appointment of a Muslim judge were “bigots.”

Christie’s name has floated as a potential vice presidential pick, though he’s probably not very high up the list for a number of reasons. And his willingness to call out “bigots” likely will not help, both because Mitt Romney has been decidedly more circumspect when asked about Islamophobia (as in, he completely dodged it) and because it also shows that Christie would be difficult for the Romney campaign to manage and control. Christie has made similar remarks about Islamophobes before.

Goldman Sachs won’t face charges: The government dropped two separate investigations into Goldman Sachs’ action in the housing market during the financial crisis, “handing a quiet victory to the bank after years of public scrutiny.” In a statement yesterday, the Justice Department said there was “not a viable basis to bring a criminal prosecution” against Goldman. DoJ’s investigation was sparked after the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations had examined troubled mortgage securities that Goldman sold to investors and urged a criminal investigation. Meanwhile, in a separate matter, Goldman announced earlier yesterday that the Securities and Exchange Commission had ended an investigation into a $1.3 billion subprime mortgage deal, taking no action. “We are pleased that this matter is behind us,” a bank spokesman said.



Dem platform to include marriage equality: It came out late last month that the Democratic Party platform, to be adopted at the upcoming convention, will include a plank about marriage equality. Now, BuzzFeed obtained the draft language. “We support the right of all families to have equal respect, responsibilities, and protections under the law. We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples,” the draft says. It continues: “We oppose discriminatory federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection of the laws to committed same-sex couples who seek the same respect and responsibilities as other married couples. We support the full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.”

DREAM-ish Act now a reality: Young undocumented immigrants who meet certain qualifications will be able to apply for work permits starting next Wednesday, the product of the new immigration policy President Obama announced earlier this summer. There are over 80,000 immigrants with college degrees and another 140,000 enrolled in college, according to one estimate, but the kinds of jobs that make use of a degree often require work permits or legal residency, so immigrants have been barred from participating, leading to a glut of “wasted talent,” as one expert put it.

On to 2016: Some ambitious Republicans don’t appear to have full confidence in Mitt Romney’s chance of winning this year and are already preparing to lay the groundwork for their own 2016 presidential bids. Politico reports, “On the off-chance Romney doesn’t get across the finish line, a handful of ex-rivals and prominent Republicans are suddenly showing up in the states that would be first to vote in a 2016 presidential primary.” These include Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who all appear at an upcoming event in Iowa. Others getting ready include former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, along with Sarah Palin and others. “People think Mitt has a real shot. But everyone is getting in position just in case,” said Faith and Freedom Coalition president Ralph Reed.

Alex Seitz-Wald

Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Email him at aseitz-wald@salon.com, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.

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