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Christie Relays Emotional Anecdotes on Drug Addiction: ‘There But for the Grace of God’

In New Hampshire last week, Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie told a town hall audience several personal stories about drug addiction, ending his speech with an emotional plea to reform how the United States treats drug addicts.

“My mother was a smoker, she smoked her whole life. She was addicted to nicotine,” Christie began, “and I tell you, I watched her as a kid growing up. She tried everything she could to quit. She had gum, patches, hypnosis — she tried everything, she couldn’t quit.”

Christie told the crowd that when his late mother was diagnosed with lung cancer, “no one came to me and said, ‘Don’t treat her ’cause she got what she deserved.'”

“No one came to me and said, ‘You know your mother was dumb, she started smoking when she was 16. Then after we told her it was bad for her, she kept doing it, so we’re not going to give her chemotherapy, we’re not gonna give her radiation, we’re not going to give her any of that stuff — you know why? cause she’s getting what she deserves.’ No one said that,” Christie said.

“Yet somehow,” he continued, “if it’s heroin or cocaine or alcohol, we say, ‘Ah, they decided it. They’re getting what they deserve.'”


Christie told the audience that to him, being pro-life means “you have to be pro-life for the whole life, not just the nine months you’re in the womb.”

“But when they get out that’s when it gets tough: a 16 year old teenage girl on the floor of the county lockup, addicted to heroin,” Christie said. “I’m pro-life for her too. Her life is just as much a precious gift from God as the one in the womb.”

Christie then launched into a story about a close friend from law school who hurt his back in a running accident and was prescribed Percocet “to help numb the pain.”

“About a year later, I get a call from his wife and she said, ‘He’s addicted to these pain killers, and he won’t listen, and I kicked him out of the house,'” Christie revealed, adding that he and his law school friends held an intervention for their pal. Ten years later, Christie said, “they found him dead, in a hotel room, with an empty bottle of Percocet and an empty quart of vodka.”

“There but for the grace of God,” Christie concluded, “It can happen to anyone.”

“Every life is precious, every life is an individual gift from God,” Christie told the audience. “We have to stop judging and start giving them the tools they need to get better.”

Watch the video above, via Huffington Post.

>> Follow Elizabeth Preza on Twitter (@lizacisms)

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