Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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WATCH: What Was Chris Christie Trying to Say About Kim Davis?

Chris Christie

Chris Christie seemed to imply during the Republican presidential debate on Thursday night that fighting for Kim Davis is just like fighting ISIS. 

First, the New Jersey governor denied saying something he actually had indeed said, then he pivoted to ISIS so fast that the Internet was left in wonder about Christie's answer. The question on Davis — the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples — came from Fox News' Chris Wallace.

WALLACE: "Gentlemen, we had a case study on religious liberty just this last summer. A county clerk in Kentucky named Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the Supreme Court ruling, saying that it violated her religious beliefs.

"Governor Christie, you said that she must follow the law or be moved to another job that would be in keeping with her conscience. But some conservatives say that that violates her religious liberty."

Christie immediately denied ever saying that Davis should get another job. But the record of that statement is very clear, coming from an interview he did on Fox News' Fox and Friends in September. 

Back then, as Mike Huckabee was staging a rally welcoming Davis from her jail cell for being in contempt of court, Christie said, "What I would do with this woman is to move her to another job where this is not an objection for her, because you have to follow the law, and the law is these licenses have to be issued. If she has a religious objection we should move her to another job inside the government."

According to a CNN report about the exchange, the Fox host asked a follow-up question about what happens if Davis refused to switch positions.

"Then there's going to be an issue," said Christie, "but I think we should give her an option to do another job where her religious concerns are not going to be put into the crosshairs on this. So we have to have respect for people, but the government also has to function."

Compare that with how Christie answered Wallace on Thursday. 

CHRISTIE: "No, what I said, Chris, was that the law needs to be followed. And that someone in that office has to do their job. So if Ms. Davis wanted to step aside and get rid of her ability to be able to do that, there should be someone else in that office who it didn't violate their conscience so they could follow the law of the state of Kentucky.

"I never said that Ms. Davis should either lose her job or that she had to do it. But what I did say was that the person who came in for the license needed to get it. And so if there's someone in that organization, and it turns out there was, who was willing to be able to do that, that's what we should do."

Then Christie made a leap to talking tough about ISIS. His answer might read to LGBT people at first like he's equating Kim Davis to ISIS, since both want to "impose their faith upon each and ever one of us." But Christie seemed to say ISIS wants to defeat religious liberty, and so supporting Kim Davis is like fighting ISIS.

CHRISTIE: "You know, we all have our own individual interpretations of our faith. And here's the problem with what's going on around the world. The radical Islamic jihadists, what they want to do is impose their faith upon each and every one of us — every one of us. And the reason why this war against them is so important is that very basis of religious liberty.

"They want everyone in this country to follow their religious beliefs the way they do. They do not want us to exercise religious liberty. That's why as commander in chief, I will take on ISIS, not only because it keeps us safe, but because it allows us to absolutely conduct our religious affairs the way we find in our heart and in our souls. As a Catholic, that's what I want to do. And no matter what your faith is, that's what I want you to be able to do."

Watch the exchange in the video below:

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