News & Politics

Chris Christie Says He Doesn’t Really Think About Statehood for DC

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Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie was asked at a New Hampshire forum Monday if he ever thinks the District should be granted statehood and a full congressional delegation. According to reports out of the forum, the New Jersey governor says he doesn’t really think about the issue that much, but if he did, he’d probably oppose it.

“I don’t think adding another person to Congress is gonna help,” Christie said, according to the Wall Street Journal‘s Ted Mann. The person who asked Christie about statehood is a DC resident, Mann added.

But Christie had an addendum to his fleeting statehood-denying thoughts: “We may [have] the only capital who was created just to be a seat of government,” he said, MSNBC’s Benjy Sarlin reports.

Christie, who is currently at 2.4 percent of Republican primary voters in a national average of polls—good for a ninth-place tie with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee—might want to brush up on planned capitals before the next debate. Besides DC, Abuja, Nigeria; Astana, Kazakhstan; Brasilia, Brazil; Canberra, Australia; Islamabad; and New Delhi were also built from scratch to serve as national capitals. The critical difference between DC and those cities, though, is that residents of those foreign seats are fully represented in their countries’ national legislatures.

The front-runner for the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nomination, rude neighbor Donald Trump, has previously said he “would like to do whatever is good for the District of Columbia,” while second-place Ben Carson has said he opposes statehood because of the District’s lack of a farming sector.

There’s another potential explanation for Christie’s admitted ambivalence toward DC statehood: His erstwhile hero, Bruce Springsteen, has never addressed it directly either.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.