New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie has just announced his endorsement of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. The endorsement from Trump’s former friendly rival comes just ahead of next week’s Super Tuesday, the make-or-break moment for Donald Trump’s primary campaign. In the endorsement, Christie calls Trump the Republican party’s best hope to beat Hillary Clinton in the general election this November.
“The best person to beat Hillary Clinton in November on that stage last night is undoubtedly Donald Trump,” Chris Christie told a news conference before a Trump rally in Texas today, reports Reuters.
In the same breath, Christie includes a not-so-subtle slug at establishment candidate Marco Rubio – there’s no love lost between those two, just have a look at Christie’s last debate where he decimates Rubio for his use of canned answers and talking points.
— C. Steven Tucker (@CSteven) February 26, 2016
“I said to Marco, easy with the makeup, you don’t need that much,” Trump said, citing Marco Rubio’s performance in the last debate.
Chris Christie went on to sing Trump’s praises while venting personal animus at Marco Rubio. He called Trump a good friend, and a good candidate who is re-writing the playbook on Republican primary campaigns. Christie referred to Rubio’s campaign as a “losing campaign,” calling the Florida Senator “desperate” on last night’s debate stage – at which he leveled a number of personal attacks at Donald Trump, which some news outlets are referring to as “withering attacks.”
“He’s been my friend for many years, he’s been a spectacular governor,” Donald Trump says of former rival Chris Christie.
Christie, for his part, may have been Trump’s friend for years, but on the campaign trail he didn’t spare his good buddy a few attacks of his own. Christie alleged numerous times that Trump wasn’t a serious candidate, that he would bring “reality TV” to the Oval Office. He later backpedaled that statement saying that Trump would be as serious a candidate “as he wants to be,” suggesting that Trump could have a good shot at the Republican nomination if he’d dial back the entertainment angle and start developing some real policy positions.
“He sits in his jammies in Trump Tower and phones in,” Chris Christie said earlier in the Republican primary campaign, alleging that Trump received preferential treatment by outlets like Fox News and CNN.
Trump struck back right after, calling Chris Christie’s reputation as Governor of New Jersey into question – in stark contrast to the ‘friendship’ both men say they share.
Here is audio of Chris Christie doing an impersonation of Donald Trump in New Hampshire https://t.co/rpBTCnUn9h
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) February 26, 2016
“How is Chris Christie running the state of New Jersey, which is deeply troubled, when he’s spending all his time in New Hampshire? New Jerseyans are not happy!” Trump tweeted soon after Christie’s comments on Trump boycotting the Fox News debate.
Trump kept on the attack, striking again and again at his ‘good friend’ Chris Christie.
“When I saw [Christie hug Obama] I said I think he’s going to vote for Obama, [Christie] is a little child,” Trump said in December.
Christie, for his part, tried to keep his attacks on the Republican frontrunner to a minimum, even as far back as New Hampshire. One Christie supporter demanded that he ‘take the gloves off’ and start “smacking Trump around.” To which Christie’s response was guarded, timid, and evasive.
“You know when I will? When it makes sense to. I’m not in this to just beat Donald Trump. I’m in this to make certain decisions. And I’m going to make certain decisions on when I want to say what I’m going to say. We’re not running out of time, and here’s the thing, everyone’s quite obsessed with [Trump] but here’s the thing, no one has voted yet,” Christie said in a New Hampshire town hall this December, reports Politico.
Then people did vote, and they overwhelmingly chose bellicose Trump over whiny Christie. But now they’re good friends, best buds, and Trump received Christie’s endorsement with his trademark smirk.
[Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]