DENVER (AP/CBS4) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called Colorado’s governor’s race winnable for Republicans and pledged Wednesday to visit the state often to support GOP gubernatorial contender Bob Beauprez.
During a stop at a diner in downtown Denver, Christie was also unapologetic about his April remarks during a New Jersey radio show in which he said Colorado’s voter-approved recreational marijuana industry has hurt the state’s quality of life.
Christie said he stands by his comments.
“I’m not backing off an inch from what I said. What I said is what I believe,” he said. “I think it’s the wrong thing to do. I think legalizing marijuana is the wrong thing to do from a societal perspective, from a governmental perspective. I just disagree.”
CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd asked Christie about the issue.
“I’ll say exactly what I said; that I think that that diminishes the quality of life in state that legalizing an illegal drug,” Christie responded. “Listen, I’m not one of those guys who’s is going to change my opinion because standing in Colorado and go, ‘Well, what I really meant was …’ No, I meant what I said.
“It doesn’t mean that Colorado is not a great place, I’m sure it is. I think it would be greater if it didn’t legalize marijuana.”
About a half-dozen protesters gathered outside the restaurant while Christie spoke and shook hands with customers. The protesters held signs, including, “Christie Go Home.”
Christie shrugged them off. “This is a much lower turnout of protesters than I normally get,” he said.
Christie, the chair of the Republican Governor’s Association, praised Beauprez and called him “the best chance for change and the best chance for a more positive Colorado.”
Beauprez, a former U.S. congressman, won the Republican gubernatorial nomination last month and is facing Gov. John Hickenlooper in November. Recent polls suggest the race is close.
The RGA will help Beauprez in the lead-up to the election, Christie said.
“We don’t pay for landslides, and we don’t invest in lost causes,” Christie said. “So if I show up some place that means that I believe that the race is winnable.”
While in Denver, Christie attended a fundraiser with Beauprez before heading to Aspen Wednesday evening and Thursday for RGA events.
One of them is a discussion with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.
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