NEW YORK (CBS) — New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has dispatched a small crew of National Guard troops to Houston to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, and he’s ready to send more if needed.
Christie ordered a dozen specially trained troops and two Blackhawk choppers to aid in the ongoing rescue effort. He’s got 3,500 guardsmen ready to send as soon as Texas Governor Greg Abbott asks for them.
And Christie told CNN he thinks that call will come soon because, when the waters recede, the looters will come out.
“It’s only a matter of time that the bad elements that exist in every society in every state will try and take advantage of it,” the Governor said.
Christie is appearing on major news outlets to opine, given his experience in 2012 with Superstorm Sandy. He believes his Texas counterpart is doing well in balancing his administrative duties with providing emotional comfort to those affected.
As for President Trump, Christie says criticism for an apparent lack of empathy will turn around once Mister Trump is able to interact with actual victims of the disaster.
Christie is also calling out Texas Senator Ted Cruz for trying to justify his move in 2012 to stall aid for Sandy. The Governor insists this is no time to play politics and that Congress should pass an aid package for Texas as soon as they return to work next week, with no strings attached.
“It should not be connected to the debt ceiling,” he said. “It shouldn’t be connected to offsets because, if the federal government is not here to help people when 50 inches of rain fall on them in a historic way, then what the hell are they there for?”
The majority of aid for Sandy recovery to New Jersey and New York was delayed for 66 days as Cruz led a debate over alleged pork barrel additions to the package, additions that Christie says were later found not to have been a part of the measure.