Chris Christie, who dropped out of the presidential race earlier this month, has made his endorsement: Donald J. Trump (video at the ink). Yes, you read that right. Not his fellow “establishment lane” candidates, Marco Rubio or John Kasich. In his words:
Strong leadership is not dependent on the status quo, so the best person to beat Hillary Clinton on that stage last night, undoubtedly, is Donald Trump.
Why would Christie attack Rubio? Simple: Christie’s dislike of Rubio is palpable: “Rubio represents the Washington establishment,” Christie declared, reverting to his old, pugnacious Jersey persona. He attacked the first-term senator, saying Rubio has “never really shown up for work.” As for the Floridian’s strong showing in the debate last night, Christie characterized his performance as “the flailing punches in the last days of a losing campaign.” As the New York Times noted:
Mr. Christie was a candidate himself until he came in sixth place in New Hampshire’s primary. Seeing his political career facing an abrupt conclusion at the end of a second term as governor following his faded presidential campaign, he was said to be deeply angry with Senator Marco Rubio, according to three people with direct knowledge of his thinking. He blames Mr. Rubio’s “super PAC” for halting his momentum in New Hampshire in December with a string of slash-and-burn ads.
Pointing to Trump, Christie said, “This is the only guy on that stage, other than Governor Kasich, who has made executive decisions.”
The New Jersey governor told the press that his whole family agreed he should support Trump, because the tycoon is “best to make sure that Hillary Clinton never gets within ten miles of the White House.” He said he met with Trump on Thursday morning, and The Donald said that he would appreciate Christie’s presence in the campaign.
“Turn away from the amateur acts in Washington, D.C., and turn toward a strong leader, and that’s who this man is,” Christie declared. He thanked Trump for “leaving the private sector, and for seeing that we need strong leadership.”
Christie also attacked a member of the press who compared Hillary Clinton’s email scandal to a lawsuit brought up against Trump. He said the email scandal is a serious matter of national security and extreme lawbreaking, not to be compared to a “civil lawsuit where somebody is suing for money.”
When asked if Christie would be a potential running mate, Trump said that he did not discuss that with Christie in their meeting, but “he is certainly qualified.”