Following the arraignment of Donald Trump on federal criminal charges, more of the Republican primary candidates appear to be finding their footing and changing their tune from their initial response to the indictment against him.
One particularly vocal critic from the get-go has been former Trump ally and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has long-aligned himself as anti-Trump and is now running against him for the 2024 GOP nomination.
During an appearance on Fox News on Wednesday, Mr Christie did not hold back when asked how he would differentiate himself on the debate stage from Mr Trump.
America’s Newsroom host Bill Hemmer asked him where the two candidates disagree on the issues, noting that they seem in lockstep on some giving the examples of abortion and social security.
“He’s a failure. He’s a failed leader. We gave him a Republican House, a Republican Senate, and he failed. He failed us, Bill,” said the former governor. “And he failed us by losing the house by losing the Senate and by turning over the White House to Joe Biden, and the most liberal administration and ineffective administration since Jimmy Carter.”
Mr Christie continued, running through his record as governor: “Is that the type of leadership we want or do we want someone who has governed in a blue state, showing you can win independent voters, get 61 per cent of the vote for reelection in a state like New Jersey as a Republican, and works with a Democratic legislature to get pension reform; to fire the Camden City Police Department leading to a 75 per cent reduction in the murder rate; and gave more educational choice than in any blue state in the country, more charter schools and choice in the city of Newark, and did that with a Democratic legislature?”
The one-time ally of Mr Trump then really went for the jugular, saying: “Is that what we need in Washington or do we need Donald Trump whining, moaning and making everything about him?”
He added: “He doesn’t care about the American people, Bill. He’s putting himself first and if you watch that speech yesterday, at Bedminster — where is he talking about America and the American people and their concerns and their needs?”
Mr Christie concluded: “This next administration if Donald Trump is president will be all about retribution for him personally, is that the show we want to watch? Is that the rerun of The Apprentice we want to watch?”
The former governor appeared on a CNN town hall on Monday night (12 June) in which he also tore into Mr Trump, accusing the former president of “vanity run amok.”
“The conduct in there is awful,” Mr Christie said of the former president’s indictment over the trove of classified documents he took with him when leaving office.
The former New Jersey governor, who had joined the race to be the Republican Party nominee the week before, also compared Mr Trump to “Voldemort” from the Harry Potter books.
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