Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Sunday criticized his main GOP presidential opponent, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, for his response to new history standards the Florida Board of Education adopted last week.
The New Standards in Florida have been lambasted by critics – including Vice President Kamala Harris – for rewriting and omitting key facts about slavery. This is particularly a new policy that asks for instructions on “how slaves developed skills which, in some cases, could be applied to their personal advantage”.
“Governor DeSantis started this fire with the bill he signed and now he doesn’t want to take responsibility for anything that’s done as a result of this, and listening and watching his comments he’s obviously uncomfortable,” Christie said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
DeSantis, who has advocated for the 2022 “Stop Woke Act” and other policies that have led to curriculum changes in schools across the state, addressed the backlash in response to a CNN question last week, saying, “I didn’t. I did not participate. … I think they’re probably going to show some of the people who eventually made it, you know, to become a blacksmith, to do things later in life.
“‘I didn’t do it’ and ‘I’m not involved in it’ are not words of leadership,” Christie told Margaret Brennan on CBS Sunday.
Christie also criticized his party for focusing on “smaller issues” such as “micromanaging the curriculum in schools”, instead of focusing attention on issues such as inflation and declining test scores in schools.
“If this was such a big deal for Governor DeSantis, he had four years to do it. He only started focusing on that when he decided he wanted to run for president and try to go to the right of Donald Trump,” Christie said. “I think people see this as political manipulation.”
The former New Jersey governor ran a campaign centered on knocking former President Donald Trump out of the race. But he still made room for jabs at DeSantis, calling out comments the Florida governor made about the FBI and the Justice Department during an interview on CNN last week.