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Christie says Buffett should pay, 'shut up'

Gov. Chris Christie says billionaire investor Warren E. Buffett, who called for the nation's wealthiest people to pay more taxes, should "just write a check and shut up."

"I'm tired of hearing about it," Christie told CNN's Piers Morgan in an interview that aired Tuesday night. "If he wants to give the government more money, he's got the ability to write a check. Go ahead and write it."

Christie, 49, a first-term Republican known for a blunt and caustic style, has proposed a 10 percent income-tax cut for every New Jersey resident. Democrats who control the Legislature say his plan would favor the rich.

Buffett, 81, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and The Buffalo News, has urged Congress to raise taxes on millionaires to cut the U.S. deficit.

White House press secretary Jay Carney dismissed Christie's comment when asked about it Wednesday.

"That's a quip that tries to draw attention away from what is a very serious issue, which is the need to have a tax code that's fair," Carney said.

Buffett endured scorn from Republicans last year after he called the tea party approach to budget talks "insane" and proposed raising $500 billion by taxing the richest Americans. President Obama has called for a minimum rate of 30 percent for those with incomes of $1 million or more a year, dubbing the idea "the Buffett Rule."

Carrie Kizer, Buffett's assistant, didn't immediately return an email or call seeking comment on Christie's statements.