Election 2020

Chris Christie Says He 'Absolutely' Would Be President if Trump Hadn't Run

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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will step down later this month and be replaced by Democrat Phil Murphy. He leaves office with extremely low popularity, and with yet another scandal brewing. Even so, the governor said he would “absolutely” be president if Donald Trump had not run for the office in 2016.

“I absolutely believe if Trump had not gotten into the race I think we would have won,” Christie said.

This may seem particularly rich coming from Christie, a candidate who took a mere 5 percent of the votes in Iowa and 7 percent of the votes in New Hampshire. Christie had zero delegates at the Republican National Convention, and received even fewer votes than Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — even though Paul withdrew from the race before Christie did!

Even so, the New Jersey governor suggested he would have won had Trump not entered the race.

Christie described the presidential race as “incredibly exciting” and “at times very discouraging” in an interview with NJ.com.

“(The) stakes are exciting. The issues you’re talking about are exciting,” the governor said. “And ultimately frustrating at times because the reaction I would get from people and Mary Pat got this from going door to door, you know, they’d say, ‘Oh gosh, you’re Governor Christie’s wife? We love him. He’s so smart. He’s so direct, he’s so blunt. We love him. We’re voting for Trump. But we love your husband. He’s amazing.'”

Christie suggested this support shift was the norm.

“It’s incredibly frustrating to think to yourself, ‘Wow, if this guy were not in the race, we’d win this thing,'” Christie said, referencing internal polling from the campaign. “And I absolutely believe if Trump had not gotten into the race I think we would have won.”

Polling did not necessarily confirm Christie’s impression, however. New Hampshire voters identified neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Donald Trump as their second choices.

It is impossible to say exactly how the race would have played out without Trump in it, but it is far more likely that second-place finisher Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), or third-place winner Ohio Governor John Kasich, or even the fourth-place finisher Rubio would have taken the prize than it is that Christie would have.

Furthermore, Christie’s governorship has been plagued with scandal. In addition to the notorious “Bridgegate,” his administration has faced no fewer than 15 scandals — and that was in 2014! He even vetoed a bill to outlaw underage marriages

The Intercept reported Monday that Christie’s Department of Corrections has banned a controversial book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, in the state’s prisons — particularly a population the book was intended to reach, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The book is controversial for a reason, but by reportedly choosing to ban the book in prisons, Christie’s administration has only drawn attention to the book, which is likely to sell more widely due to this alleged act of censorship.

“Michelle Alexander’s book chronicles how people of color are not just locked in, but locked out of civic life, and New Jersey has exiled them even further by banning this text specifically for them,” Amol Sinha, ACLU of New Jersey’s executive director, said in a statement. The ACLU of New Jersey said it received multiple complaints from inmates and family members about the book being banned. An Open Public Records Act request discovered the book had been banned “as a matter of policy.”

If Christie wanted to prove he should be president, he isn’t exactly going about it very well.