Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie continued his war of words Friiday with former friend Donald Trump, as the ex-president continues to lead the Republican presidential primary field by a wide margin.
Christie, who like Trump has qualified for the Fox News debate on August 23, said it would be unprecedented to have an indicted candidate as a party nominee. Trump faces the possibility of being indicted a third time, this time related to the investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot.
“I think what our voters need to begin to think about is: we have a front-runner right now who, when he gets on the stage for the Fox News debate on August 23, will be out on bail in at least two different jurisdictions, if not three,” Christie said in interview with Neil Cavuto on “Your World.” “”How are we going to beat the Democrats with a candidate who is going to be out on bail, facing numerous self-inflicted wounds in courtrooms across this country?”
Trump has denied all claims against him, and recently called Special Counsel Jack Smith “deranged” and a “sick puppet of [Merrick] Garland and Crooked Joe Biden [who] should be defended and put out to rest.”
On Friday, Christie noted Trump faces potentially further mounting charges from Smith, an ex-Kosovo War crimes prosecutor who also prosecuted former Virginia Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell’s corruption case. McDonnell’s conviction was however unanimously vacated by the Supreme Court in 2016.
On “Your World,” Cavuto noted Christie will not be attending the Iowa GOP Lincoln Dinner like several of his opponents like Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, to which Christie said he had a slate of fundraisers to attend back east.
With Hunter Biden and Trump in the news as various allegations fly, Christie said the GOP front-runner brought scrutiny upon himself.
“Now, with the superseding indictment that was put forward yesterday, and I can tell you from having done this work for seven years as the U.S. attorney in the fifth-largest office in the country — out of 94, we did 130 political corruption cases against Republicans and Democrats over seven years and never suffered a defeat,” Christie said.
Prior to becoming governor, Christie was then-President George W. Bush’s pick for U.S. attorney in the Newark office, which covers the entirety of the Garden State.
Christie said his experience tells him the superseding indictment from Smith’s office suggests there is a cooperating witness from within the Trump Organization who is providing information on the former president.
Christie said he is the only candidates “unafraid” to challenge or criticize Trump, dismissing other critiques aimed at Trump from candidates like former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
He said Haley has criticized Trump, but said she has offered “mixed messaging” on whether Trump should run or be the GOP nominee.
Of Sen. Mitt Romney’s, R-Utah, assertion that Republicans must rally around a non-Trump candidate to be able to wedge him off the stage, Christie said he didn’t necessarily disagree but that it may be too early to do so.
He noted there were 17 GOP candidates in 2016 and that after the first debate, those numbers whittled down considerably in a short period of time without any such pressures.
“Mitt, I think, said that, you know, if you haven’t done well by February 26, you should get out. I don’t disagree with that, Neal. And I think that if you look at what I did last time, 8 years ago, I didn’t do as well as I wanted to in New Hampshire in the beginning of February, I got out of the race and consolidated behind Donald Trump, supported him, chaired his transition, and worked to make him the next president of the United States — And we succeeded.”
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