Since taking office last year, Gov. Chris Christie has become an inspiration for many conservatives across the country who praise the New Jersey Republican for tackling serious budget imbalances and cutting government spending in the face of heated opposition from labor and special interest groups.
In a Friday interview on Fox Business Network, however, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin reacted slightly differently to Christie's "tough love" governing, claiming true leadership is having courage to cut spending when state government is running a surplus. Governors like Christie, Palin notes, are making budget cuts because they have to, not necessarily because they want to as she did as Alaska's top executive.
With all due respect to Governor Christie, you know he has no choice but to cut budgets because he’s broke, his state is broke. What courage really is, is in the face of having a surplus when you have opportunity to spend spend spend the people’s money, you still choose to reign in government to let the private sector soar. That’s real courage, and by the way that’s what I did as Governor here when I engaged in hiring freezes and reduced earmarks by 86% and vetoed the largest amounts in our state’s history. Despite having a surplus that’s real leadership and that’s courage.
While Palin noted her respect for Christie and other Republicans who are tackling budget deficits across the country, is her critique justified?
Here's the conclusion of Palin's FBN interview:
Palin also weighed in on entitlement reform during a primetime interview with FNC's Bill O'Reilly where she stressed the importance of privatization and increasing the Social Security retirement age:
Earlier this week, Fox News announced potential 2012 contenders and FNC contributors Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich would be indefinitely suspended until they decide whether they'll pursue a presidential bid. Noticeably absent from the announcement, however, was any hint at Palin's future plans.