Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie on Sunday continued his assault on the White House’s approach to admitting Syrian refugees into the United States.
“The FBI director himself said they cannot vet these folks,” Christie told Jake Tapper in an interview Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Everyone from President Obama to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have gone after Christie for his remarks. The issue has been in the spotlight as Congress considers a bill to restrict Syrian immigration in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris.
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has taken credit for the attacks, which killed about 130 people, and reports have since emerged suggesting at least one of the attackers may have entered Europe by using a Syrian passport.
Christie stood firm on Sunday.
“I don’t understand the distinction quite frankly,” he said, noting that one of the suspected masterminds of the plot was the woman killed in a stand-off with police last week.
He also went after Obama for creating the refugee situation in the first place, citing the president’s “failure to enforce” a red line in Syria and his “invitation” for Russian fighters to enter the country.
“He wants the American people to absorb this crisis that he’s created,” Christie said.
The State Department recently released information showing that 75 Syrian refugees had already settled in New Jersey. The revelation prompted further outrage from Christie.
“We should have been informed about it and we were not,” he said, calling Obama’s government an “imperial administration” that is “not giving any information to the state governments.”
Christie reiterated his alternate plan for addressing the refugee crisis, which includes establishing a no-fly zone in Syria and setting up a safe haven territory for refugees.
“This is not even an issue we should be addressing in the United States,” he said.
Many of Christie’s GOP presidential competitors, including former CEO Carly Fiorina and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), have also denounced Obama's comments on Syrian refugees last week. Fiorina called Obama's remarks "outrageous," while Cruz challenged Obama to a face-to-face debate.