Monday March 31,2014 : CHRISTIE APOLOGISES TO ADELSON OVER REMARK ON ‘OCCUPIED TERRITORY'
As one of four possible recipients of Adelson political largesse, New Jersey governor backtracks on "occupied territory" comment.
New Jersey's Republican governor Chris Christie, who is still fighting off the political fall-out over Bridgegate, has had to back away from a "misspoken" remark in one of his speeches to placate casino baron and top Republican Party donor Sheldon Adelson, according to the US publication Mediaite.
The offending phrase in one of Christie's speeches was the description of the West Bank as "occupied territories" – a sensitive issue for both sides of the long-running border dispute between Israel and the Palestinians.
Describing a visit in 2012 to the region, Christie said in his speech: "I took a helicopter ride from the occupied territories across and just felt personally how extraordinary that was to understand, the military risk that Israel faces every day.”
Christie is reportedly one of four Republican governors being considered by Adelson for millions in funding as they line up for a crack at the US presidency in the 2016 elections
In 2012 Adelson reportedly donated almost $100 million to Republican causes, but was not able to influence the outcome of the presidential elections.
With that much financial support on the line, and being aware of Adelson's passionate support for the state of Israel, Christie clearly felt he needed to do some backtracking on his use of the "occupied territories" phrase.
Mediaite reports that Christie apologised privately on Saturday to Adelson for the error, clarifying "….in the strongest terms possible" that his remarks were not meant to be a statement of policy and that he "…misspoke when he referred to the ‘occupied territories.’
The unnamed source of the report said that Christie also confirmed that he is "…an unwavering friend and committed supporter of Israel, and was sorry for any confusion that came across as a result of the misstatement.”