MANCHESTER, NH -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got personal at a New Hampshire town hall on Tuesday, delving into the meaning of his Catholic faith and his own use of birth control.
“I’m a Catholic, but I’ve used birth control. And not just the rhythm method, ok?” he said during a town hall at Blake’s Creamery Restaurant in Manchester. “So you know, my church has a teaching against birth control. Does that make me an awful Catholic, because I believe and practiced that function during part of my life? I don’t think so. But you know what? I’m only going to find out when it’s my time to be judged.”
Christie’s comments came after a questioner used various Bible passages to question the Republican presidential candidate’s support for things like military action, the Keystone Pipeline, and fracking. In response, Christie launched into an explanation of how various Bible passages can mean different things to different people.
“Yes, I am a Catholic and I believe in my church,” he said. “But I also know that there are folks who have different interpretations of different passages in the Bible, like you and I obviously do from the way you just placed it out. “
The exchange was part of a lengthy discussion of issues facing the 2016 candidates just days before they face each other in the first GOP primary debate.
Fielding questions on immigration policy, Christie stated that the U.S. needs to “build a wall or fencing in the places where that would be the most effective,” specifically in urban areas. But he balked at the idea – popular among some conservatives – that a wall should be built along the entire southern U.S. border.
“Please, please, please do not fall for the idea that we are going to build a wall along the entire 2,000-mile border of the United States and Mexico,” he said. “It’s not feasible. It’s not practical. It’s too expensive. And by the way, I’ve never seen a fence or a wall that if a human being wanted to get over or around it that they couldn’t.”
“By the way, I could pretty much guarantee you that the Mexicans aren’t going to pay for it,” he added in a jab at GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s claims that he could force the Mexican government to foot the bill.
Amid the range of heavy topics, the restaurant erupted with laughs and cheers when one questioner brought up a big concern for many people here: “You talked about a lot of important things. But to New England, one thing: Can you help Tom Brady?”
Christie acknowledged that dealing with Brady’s situation was beyond his authority as the governor of New Jersey, delved into an in-depth answer about how “you never know what you don’t know,” and reminded people that he’s a Cowboys fan, not a Jets fan.
Christie called Brady’s decision to destroy his old cell phone suspect, and said that if he was hired as Brady’s lawyer, he would have told him to hand over the phone.
“If you’re hiding your cell phone, you gotta be hiding it for a reason, you know. I mean, listen. It’s not like he’s got pictures on there of his wife. We’ve all seen pictures of his wife. She gets paid for pictures. So what was he hiding exactly?” he said.
The event took place just hours after 14 Republican candidates appeared at the New Hampshire Voters First Forum at Saint Anselm College in Manchester. Christie said that this was his 17th trip to the Granite State since the start of this year.