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Chris Christie: Obama "acting like a dictator" on guns

Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spoke with CBS’ “Face the Nation” about the president’s recent executive actions on gun control and the state of the Republican primary race in an interview that aired January 10, 2016
Full interview: Chris Christie, January 10 05:58

Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie slammed President Obama for running the country like a "dictator" after the president announced new executive actions on gun control last week.

"Dictatorship's not leadership," Christie told "Face the Nation" moderator John Dickerson in an interview that aired Sunday. "And he's acting like a dictator and a petulant child."

Christie pointed out that since Mr. Obama has taken office, the House and Senate have shifted red, with Republican majorities in the two chambers of Congress and a majority of state houses with Republican governors.

"His policies have been rejected by the American people, but he doesn't want to hear that," he said.

The New Jersey governor gave his support to Republican front-runner Donald Trump's suggestion getting rid of gun-free zones on military bases.

Chris Christie on president’s gun reform: “Dictatorship is not leadership” 04:34

"It seems ridiculous to me that military folks can't carry a weapon with them," Christie said. "They're trained to do it. They're the best trained people. And so I would certainly be in favor of our military folks being able to carry weapons in those circumstances."

But as for deciding whether schools should not be gun-free zones, Christie believes it's "something that each state should be able to look at on its own."

The Republican governor also defended his own mixed record on assault weapon bans, saying that the issue is one he's evolved on and learned about "over time."

"In New Jersey, I have grown up in a culture in our state of very, very vigorous anti-gun laws," he said. "And my actions as governor of New Jersey have been exactly where I think they need to be. When these things involve public safety, I'm for public safety. But if there are laws that are just going to make legislators and governors feel better, they shouldn't be into place and infringe Second Amendment rights."

As the first Iowa caucuses draw closer, Christie also weighed in on the state of the Republican primary race.

Gov. Christie: “I never donated to Planned Parenthood” 01:23

When asked whether he believed Republican rival and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was legally eligible to run for the presidency, Christie responded with a succinct "It appears to me he is."

The New Jersey governor also responded to a rival Marco Rubio, who accused Christie of giving money to Planned Parenthood, the women's health organization at the center of a federal defunding fight in Congress. Christie denied that claim.

He slammed his fellow Republican contender for the Florida senator's attacks on his governing record, added that "Marco himself has said that I was a conservative reformer in New Jersey."

"If Marco wants to think that, you know, this is a guy who stood up and really lectured Jeb Bush on the debate stage - 'So someone's told you that by criticizing me, it helps you,'" Christie said. "Well, apparently that same someone is now talking to Marco."

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