Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, is drawing a lot of flak — and ridicule — for endorsing Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.
Last week, Chris Christie arrived unannounced at Fort Worth, Texas, according to CNN, to laud Trump and patronize Marco Rubio, before adding that the billionaire was best positioned to win the Republican nomination and was the best person to slug it out with Hillary Clinton for the presidency of the United States.
“I can guarantee you, the one person Hillary and Bill Clinton do not want to see on that stage, come next September, is Donald Trump. They know how to run the standard political playbook and run the small senators around the block. They do not know the playbook with Donald Trump because he is writing the playbook.”
“I will lend my support between now and November in any way for Donald.”
Be that as it may, Chris Christie was widely criticized by many sections of the media, and even caused consternation in his inner circles when he announced his endorsement of Trump. Christie had himself withdrawn prematurely from the presidential campaign, having pulled out from the race after the New Hampshire polls. One of his campaign operatives described being “stunned” after he announced his endorsement of the real estate mogul, while some of his campaign donors were also equally shocked by his move.
Others, including former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman, lambasted Christie’s endorsement of Donald Trump in no unambiguous terms, insinuating that Christie had clearly chosen to endorse Trump because of his friendship with the real estate mogul and the promise of a higher office. In an article published in the Time, Whitman accused Christie of “desperate opportunism,” saying nothing should have made the New Jersey governor endorse Trump — even political pragmatism.
“Governor Chris Christie endorsed Donald Trump. Anyone who has served as a governor knows that Trump lacks both the temperament and experience for the presidency; Christie knows the kind of demagogue with whom he has allied himself. No position he may have been promised in exchange — not Attorney General, not even Vice President — justifies so blatant an abdication of personal judgment to political calculation.”
Not only have Christie’s political aides, rivals, fellow Republicans and his donors decried his endorsement of Donald Trump, the media has emphatically criticized the move, with as many as seven New Jersey newspapers issuing a joint editorial Tuesday calling on him to resign for his “political opportunism,” “arrogance,” and “hypocrisy,” according to USA Today.
“For the good of the state, it’s time for Christie to do his long-neglected constituents a favor and resign as governor. If he refuses, citizens should initiate a recall effort. We’re disgusted with his endorsement of Donald Trump after he spent months on the campaign trail trashing him, calling him unqualified by temperament and experience to be president.”
Christie’s sudden endorsement of Trump is undoubtedly curious, and has even invited the wrath of the internet. During the 30-odd minute rambling speech Donald Trump delivered within the confines of his exclusive Mar-a-Lago resort, Palm Beach, after sweeping through the polls on Super Tuesday, Chris Christie appeared unnaturally subdued.
The Twitterverse, of course, took a cue and went wild!
Is Christie being held hostage by the Trump campaign?— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) March 2, 2016
But as much flak as Chris Christie has received for endorsing Donald Trump, not everyone has criticized him for the move. Ken McKay, Christie’s former campaign manager, said the New Jersey governor’s endorsement of Trump was actually an act of loyalty and political realism, and not self-serving expediency, according to NJ.
“He’s standing by a personal friend, and I think he believes what he says, that these other guys [Trump’s rivals in the GOP field] are not competent to be president of the United States.”
There will undoubtedly be contradicting viewpoints on Chris Christie’s decision to endorse Donald Trump, but the New Jersey governor will have to take all of it into his stride. The criticism might get more vociferous in the coming days, but Christie would surely have seen it coming.
Now, wherever Trump will go from here, Christie will follow him.
[Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]