Once considered a close ally of former President Donald Trump, Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie has now become one of his staunchest critics.
That was very evident this week, when he lashed out at Trump during an interview he gave with MSNBC. The former governor of New Jersey heavily criticized Trump over the patriotic rhetoric that comes out of his presidential campaign, as well as his attempts to push aside all of the criminal charges against him.
As Christie said of Trump:
“He’s not putting America first. That’s the great irony of this campaign. He’s put Donald Trump first.
“The problem with Trump is that he knows no sense of history, no intellectual curiosity, and doesn’t care whether he puts himself before the country at every turn.”
Trump has been indicted in three separate criminal cases now – two federal ones and one state-level one in New York – and may soon face another state-level criminal indictment in Georgia.
The most recent federal indictment handed down last week revolves around his alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election so he could remain in the White House. The other federal indictment revolves around his alleged mishandling of classified documents.
The New York state indictment – which was the first to be handed down – revolves around business fraud allegations in relation to hush money payments he made to a former adult film star.
However, Trump has used the charges to his advantage, flipping the script and trying to position himself as a martyr for the people and his overall political movement.
At many recent campaign events, he’s addressed the criminal indictments, saying he was “indicted for you” to the crowd. He’s even referred to them as a “badge of honor,” and has said they’ve only worked to help his campaign, not hurt it.
The criminal indictments to this point haven’t done much at all to reduce his popularity in polling. He still has a huge lead in all GOP primary polls, and it seems that any other Republican presidential candidate is going to have an extremely hard time catching up to him.
Christie has called the comments Trump has made about the indictments, and the former president’s overall approach to them, “patently absurd.” He told MSNBC:
“How are the American people benefited by keeping boxes of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago? They were there for him to continue to pretend he was president and show off for people who were on the back patio at Mar-a-Lago by showing them things he shouldn’t have been showing them.”
Christie is making a lot of noise on various talk shows, trying to gain an edge for himself and carve out a niche among potential Republican primary voters. According to polling, his efforts are falling well short.
The former New Jersey governor has only garnered 2% support from likely Republican primary voters, according to national polling averages. Trump is the huge frontrunner, with 53% support in those polls.