New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Monday offered a vigorous defense of American intelligence gathering methods, as he laid out his national security policy in a New Hampshire speech.
Christie, a Republican who is seriously considering a 2016 presidential bid, said fears of overly intrusive government spying on innocent Americans is “exaggerated and ridiculous.”
Speaking in Portsmouth, Christie said, "When Edward Snowden revealed our intelligence secrets to the world in 2013, civil liberties extremists seized that moment to advance their very own narrow agenda," according to an Associated Press account.
"They want you to think that there's a government agent listening in every time you pick up the phone or Skype with your grandkids. They want you to think our intelligence community are the bad guys â€” straight out of the 'Bourne Identity' or some other Hollywood thriller. They want you to think that if we weakened our capabilities, the rest of the world would somehow love us more."
"Let's be clear, all these fears are exaggerated and ridiculous. When it comes to fighting terrorism, our government is not the enemy," he said.
Christie has been a U.S. attorney, and recalled how he had used parts of the Patriot Act to go after terrorists. The United States needs stronger laws, he argued.