Chris Christie Responds to Being Called an ‘Islamist’ for Having Relationships With Muslims

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Photo: Jeff Zelevansky/2011 Getty Images

During a sixteen-minute speech he gave at a dinner held at the New Jersey governor's mansion two weeks ago, Chris Christie spoke about being "called an Islamist" by fellow Republicans who have taken issue with his nomination of a Muslim attorney as a superior court judge, as well as his willingness to work with a local imam to reach out to his state's Muslim community. As he correctly pointed out to the crowd, those critics — who have a particularly robust presence on conservative websites — are "bigots," and their opinions are troubling:

"I'll tell you that there is a gaze of intolerance that is going around our country that is disturbing to me," Christie said. "This is something that as a political leader you can think you understand as an objective observer, but you don't really understand until you become part of the story."

Obviously, this display of reason isn't likely to endear him to the nuttier elements of his party — and it's actually pretty nice to see that he doesn't seem to care. Chris Christie: a sometimes reasonable guy.