Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has come out swinging against former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Days ahead of the upcoming, first Republican presidential primary debate, the candidate held a town hall and participated in interviews where he took aim at his opponents in an effort to position himself as a better alternative.
First, Christie took aim at Trump for canceling a planned press conference Monday to address the latest political indictments coming from Fulton County, Georgia. During a conversation on CNN, he was not surprised about the development, considering Trump is “facing jail time” and “can’t make his situation much worse.”
“I think the first smart decision he’s made in this regard, in a long time, was canceling that ridiculous press conference for Monday,” the candidate said.
Chris Christie on Trump canceling his press conference about “Election fraud”:
“I’m not surprised by it. Because what he now knows is that he facing jail time…
He should have listened to his lawyers back in the WH…They told him that if you continue with this election… pic.twitter.com/ocYSzQiO9K
— Republicans against Trump (@RpsAgainstTrump) August 18, 2023
Trump had announced the press conference on Truth Social on Tuesday, claiming that he planned to present a “Large, Complex, Detailed but Irrefutable REPORT on the Presidential Election Fraud” that would result in a “complete EXONERATION.”
On Thursday, the former president backtracked, saying that his lawyers advised that it would be better to present the report “in formal Legal Filings” as they fight to get the case dismissed.
Christie also slammed Trump for skipping the first primary debate. “Surprise, surprise…the guy who is out on bail from four jurisdictions and can’t defend his reprehensible conduct, is running scared and hiding from the debate stage,” he wrote in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “Trump — certified loser, verified coward.”
Surprise, surprise… the guy who is out on bail from four jurisdictions and can’t defend his reprehensible conduct, is running scared and hiding from the debate stage.
Trump – certified loser, verified coward. https://t.co/plGjaBngVP
— Chris Christie (@GovChristie) August 18, 2023
During his town hall Saturday, Christie also targeted DeSantis, who has been fighting to get his lagging campaign back on track. In response to a story revealing that the Florida Governor’s debate strategy might involve defending Trump while hammering entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, Christie argued that if DeSantis wasn’t serious about defeating the former president, he should drop out of the race and endorse him:
The only way to beat someone is to beat them. If [DeSantis] thinks he’s gonna get on the stage and defend Donald Trump on Wednesday night, then he should do Donald Trump a favor and do our party a favor, come back to Tallahassee, endorse Donald Trump, and get the hell out of the race.
“If [Ron DeSantis] thinks he’s going to get on the stage to defend Donald Trump on Wednesday night, then he should do Donald Trump a favor and do our party a favor. Come back to Tallahassee, endorse Donald Trump and get the hell out of the race.” pic.twitter.com/JWzs8ocDK5
— Jeff Charles, An Awful Pundit🏴 (@jeffcharlesjr) August 19, 2023
Christie’s campaign has been primarily based on attacking Trump. In fact, he has focused more on going after the former president than explaining why the Republican voting base should look to him as an alternative.
The former governor has been lagging considerably in the polls. But earlier this week, he managed to pull ahead of DeSantis to rank second place in New Hampshire, a key primary battleground state.