Potential 2016 White House contender Chris Christie doesn’t necessarily agree with President Obama’s prescription for childhood vaccinations.
The Republican New Jersey governor said Monday while he and his wife had their own kids inoculated, “I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well. So that’s the balance that the government has to decide.”
Christie made the comments while touring a medical research facility in England during a three-day trade visit to the U.K.
His remarks came just after the President said that the scientific argument for having youngsters get the shots is “pretty indisputable” in an interview with NBC News.
The Garden State Republican’s advocacy of wiggle room for parents also came as more than 100 people have been reported amid an outbreak of measles — against which Americans are routinely vaccinated as children — that has sickened people in more than a dozen states.
A set of American parents have decided to pass on inoculations for their kids out of fears that vaccines can have dangerous side effects or in keeping with their religious beliefs.
Christie, whose supporters say could get a boost from the decision of 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney not to wage a third White House bid, didn’t call for the government to drop its vaccine guidelines outright.
Speaking at the Cambridge, England, headquarters of MedImmune, makers of the FluMist vaccine, Christie said he and wife Mary Pat believed personally believed having their children inoculated was an important part of making sure we protect their health and the public health.”
But for other parents making those choices, “It depends on what the vaccine is, what the disease type is, and all the rest,” the governor said.
“I didn’t say I’m leaving people the option,” Christie said.
“What I’m saying is that you have to have that balance in considering parental concerns.”
Christie, who is meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday, also reportedly dinged Obama as having been a poor negotiator on matters of international trade and military policy.
With News Wire Services