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Taking questions from the crowd at a bipartisan event in New Hampshire on Monday, Republican presidential hopeful Chris Christie gave his thoughts on D.C. statehood and voting rights: Mainly, that he hasn’t given it much thought at all.
“I don’t think adding another person to Congress is going to help,” the New Jersey governor said when asked about D.C.’s lack of voting rights. According to the Wall Street Journal‘s Ted Mann, Christie told the District resident who asked the question that he hasn’t taken a firm position on the issue yet, but would attempt to come up with a better response over the next week.
@Burrite paraphrasing, it was a DC resident asking why DC hasn't been granted representation. Christie said he hadn't thought much about it.— Ted Mann (@TMannWSJ) October 12, 2015
@BenjySarlin Ankara and Brasilia might disagree— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) October 12, 2015
Christie’s fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump has been evasive of the issue, too, stating that he has a “conflict of interest” due to his plans to build a hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue NW. “I would like to do whatever’s good for the District of Columbia,” Trump said on Meet the Press. “I would say whatever’s best for [the people of D.C.], I’m for.”
On the other hand, Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders—a Vermont senator who is co-sponsoring a District statehood bill in the Senate—have voiced support for making D.C. the country’s 51st state.
Update, 2:58 p.m.: Here’s a fuller quote from the Washington Times: “I understand the philosophical argument you are making and I am not completely rejecting, but I have to be honest with you, I haven’t given it enough thought to give you a really thoughtful answer about it.”
Photo by Mr. T in D.C. via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0