Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie got himself into a pickle this past weekend when he suggested he would use a FedEx-like system to track foreign visitors who legally enter the U.S. to make sure they leave when their visas expire, if he's elected president.
Forget the giant wall that presidential candidate and GOP front-runner Donald Trump wants to build — Christie wants to go high-tech with his immigration plans. While campaigning in New Hampshire, he got specific about asking FedEx founder Fred Smith to come work for the government for three months to help Immigration and Customs Enforcement to implement his immigrant-tracking system. (Insert eye roll here.)
New Jersey Gov. Christie has said that 40 percent of immigrants with visas overstay their visits, and his high-tech "solution" is meant to differentiate him from front-runner Donald Trump, who thinks building a physical wall will keep undocumented immigrants from entering the U.S. in the first place. Christie has struggled to set himself apart from Trump and other candidates thus far. But if he was looking to make a splash with an outrageous suggestion, well ... he definitely succeeded this time.
When criticized over his comments, Christie said the government needs to utilize private sector expertise to help solve immigration issues.
"I don't mean people are packages, so let's not be ridiculous," he told Fox News. "We should bring in the folks from FedEx to use the technology to be able to do it. There's nothing wrong with that."
So does that mean immigrants would walk around with a tracking bracelet or some kind of barcode? No wonder the critics came knocking. It's an offensive idea.
In other Christie news: The presidential hopeful also made an appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on Monday where he talked about his July 4th weekend with Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney and their families. Fallon cracked a fat joke when Christie mentioned a trip to an ice cream parlor, and Christie didn't seem to like it. He got up, bid goodnight to the audience and began to walk off the stage, with Fallon convincing him to come back, saying, "the story's good ... I just want to make sure we're both telling the truth," while laughing. Christie came back and sat down, but not without a jab at Fallon, saying, "If I ever leave public life, you're going to have to hire two writers just to replace the garbage you say about me!" Whether it was staged or he was actually offended, Christie will need to develop a thicker skin if he wants to be the POTUS.
Christie has slipped in the polls to 11th place, according to a CNN/ORC International poll released this week, with only 3 percent support among registered Republican voters, due in large part to ex-Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina's recent rise in the polls, placing her in the top 10 candidates.