New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie launched a ruthless assault on Republican House Speaker John Boehner Wednesday, tearing into the GOP leader for his decision to pull the plug on a Hurricane Sandy relief bill.
"There is only one group to blame," Christie said. "The House Majority and John Boehner."
"Last night, the House Majority failed the basic test of leadership and they did so with callous disregard to the people of my state," he said. "It was disappointing and disgusting to watch."
"Shame on you, shame on Congress."
Following his remarks, Christie doubled down on his criticism in a lengthy — and incredibly candid — press conference in which he laid into House Republicans for putting "palace intrigue" ahead of their actual jobs.
"Our people were played last night as a pawn...and that's why people hate Washington, D.C.," Christie said later. "They forget that we're the ones who sent them there."
Asked who he thought was responsible on the holdup over Sandy aid, Christie laid the blame entirely on Boehner.
"It was the Speaker's decision — his alone," Christie said, adding that he tried to reach Boehner four times, but that the Speaker did not take his calls until this morning.
"I won't get into my conversation with [Boehner], but I will tell you there is no reason to believe anything they tell me."
Christie's remarks laid bare the internal conflict among House Republican leaders. According to a GOP aide, Boehner was responsible for pulling the relief bill after a majority of his caucus — including his two top deputies, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy — voted against the fiscal cliff bill.
Christie told reporters Wednesday that Cantor was "working as hard as he could" to get the Sandy relief bill passed.
According to a senior White House official, Christie spoke to President Barack Obama about the hold-up earlier today. The official said that Obama has also been in close contact with staff of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.