GOP hopeful Gov. Chris Christie asserted over the weekend that the Black Lives Matter movement was calling for the death of police officers because President Barack Obama has encouraged lawlessness.
"The problem is this, there's lawlessness in this country. The president encourages this lawlessness," Christie told CBS host John Dickerson. "Encourages it... by his own rhetoric. He does not support the police, he doesn't back up the police. He justifies black lives matter."
"Black Lives Matter shouldn't be justified at all?" Dickerson asked.
"Listen, I don't believe that movement should be justified when they're calling for the murder of police officers, no," Christie insisted.
"But they're not calling for the murder of police officers," Dickerson pointed out.
"Sure, they are," the Republican presidential candidate said. "They've been chanting in the streets for the murder of police officers."
"Well, individuals have, but the Black Lives Matter Movement hasn't," the CBS News host observed.
"That's what the movement is creating," Christie quipped. "And the president of the United States is justifying that. But not only that, he hasn't backed up police officers from the minute he's gotten into office. And we can cite instance after instance."
According to the New Jersey governor, the president's embrace of Black Lives Matter was just a symptom of his lawlessness, which Christie said included sanctuary cities.
"That type of lawlessness sets a tone, and then when you have liberal mayors like Bill de Blasio in New York who are basically tying one hand behind the back of police officers, and then we have folks -- murder rate up 11 percent -- police officers in New York City being murdered," Christie argued. "I'll be the type of president who will back up law enforcement, back up the police officers because I was a law enforcement officer."