Chris Christie Confronts Piers Morgan for Demagoguing Shareholders' Profits

When CNN's Piers Morgan preached that corporations should consider actions in the national interest over the wants of their "ever-fattening shareholders," New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) called him out for "demagoguing" the issue. In an interview that aired Tuesday night, Morgan suggested that companies like Apple should "take a hit" and bring a percentage of their jobs back to America from China.

Christie also challenged the liberal CNN host to act on his words and "leave CNN, be the CEO of a company, and lead them in a way that's both profitable and beneficial to all the different people you want to be beneficial for."

The "ever-fattening" shareholders, the governor pointed out, invest in companies which if expanded, lead to "more money for their retirement, more money for their kids' education, more money to pay their mortgages." He chided Morgan that "I don't think demagoguing that piece is necessarily a good thing for you to do."

Still hitting the class-warfare button, Morgan also grilled Christie over his "very controversial" new budget featuring tax cuts for the poor and wealthy alike. "Warren Buffet keeps screaming to be taxed more," Morgan insisted, giving a predictable liberal talking point.

"Yes, well, he should just write a check and shut up," the governor responded.

A brief transcript of the segment is as follows:

PIERS MORGAN: What do you think about this issue, which has exorcised me, but other people don't agree with me about this, that when you take a company like Apple, which is one of the greatest companies ever created, one of America's great companies now, generating hundreds of billions of dollars of profit, that they employ more people in China than they do in America.

Is it not time for companies like Apple, making the kind of money that they're doing, to take a lead and say we're going to take a hit, we're going to bring – for argument's sake – 10 percent of that workforce from China back to America? Because I've always thought if they did that, they would get such goodwill from the American public they'd make up the money anyway.

Gov. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-N.J.): Well, I think we should let businesspeople make those decisions, not government.

(Crosstalk)

MORGAN: I'm trying to help the jobless situation in America by encouraging big companies to take a moral responsible lead by doing things that aren't necessarily 100 percent in the interest of their ever-fattening shareholders, but are actually in the interest of the national interest.

CHRISTIE: You know, the ever-fattening shareholders, by the way, are the people who have pensions in this country, who are invested in Apple, the people who have IRAs and 401(k)s who are invested in Apple. And so as those become ever-fattened, they have more money for their retirement, more money for their kids' education, more money to pay their mortgages. And so my point is I don't think demagoguing that piece is necessarily a good thing for you to do.

Secondly, if you're really concerned about that, you really want to do that, then leave CNN, be the CEO of a company, and lead them in a way that's both profitable and beneficial to all the different people you want to be beneficial for. I think that would be fine.
 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014