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Chris Christie credits surge in N.H. to views on drug abuse

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Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took to the airwaves Monday morning on MSNBC’s II Morning Joe, where he told host Joe Scarborough Americans need to change their thinking when it comes to illegal drug use.

Asked by a panelist about why Christie is surging in the early primary state of New Hampshire, Christie said his views on addiction – unorthodox in a Republican primary field where harsh “law and order” views on drugs are the norm – were helping to carry him above expectations.

“[A’ll you have to do is spend a little time in New Hampshire and you see every day, every day in the newspaper multiple reports of people dying of drug overdoses. It is an epidemic up there,” said Christie.

“It’s a problem across the whole country. But in New Hampshire it’s an enormous problem. People want to talk about it. I’ve gone to a number of drug treatment rallies up there earlier in the summer with folks who – it’s a kind of grassroots movement of people saying we need more treatment, we want to act differently towards our kids, and quiet frankly, our adults who are getting hooked in the same way.”

Christie also took on his fellow nomination-seeker Dr. Ben Carson, repeating an earlier comment that “we’re all responsible for our own personal stories” in response to charges Carson has trumped up allegations against himself of a violent past, as well as false claims of an offer of a “full scholarship” to the U.S. Army’s military academy at West Point.

See the Christie’s full appearance on the morning talk show here.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to FloridaPolitics.com and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at ryan@floridapolitics.com.

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