Chris Christie got the most attention of this presidential election season on Tuesday. Unfortunately for him, he’d already dropped out of the race weeks earlier. Christie got all the attention for the faces he made while standing behind Donald Trump during the latter’s victory speech that night. (Our own Joel Mathis collected 10 of the best “silent scream” memes yesterday.)
Christie endorsed Trump last Friday; a move that sparked a huge backlash. The New Hampshire Union-Leader, which supported Christie in that state’s primary, wrote an editorial apologizing for that choice.
After cavorting around with Christie over the weekend and into Super Tuesday and giving a press conference where he refused to answer questions about the Trump endorsement, six Gannett newspapers in New Jersey called on him to resign in a joint editorial. They went even further than that: If Christie doesn’t resign, the papers said the state’s citizens should initiate a recall effort.
Today, Christie gave one of his old-fashioned freewheeling press conferences where he did take questions about his endorsement of Trump, the newspapers’ editorial and whatever else reporters asked of him. Read more »
Have you seen this picture of Chris Christie at a Super Tuesday news conference with Donald Trump? Take a good look at Christie’s face. It’s the face that is launching a thousand memes:
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, accompanied by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, left, takes questions from members of the media during a news conference on Super Tuesday primary election night in the White and Gold Ballroom at The Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., Tuesday, March 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Let’s start with the Washington Post, where the column on this picture is currently the most-read article on the paper’s website. It’s titled “Chris Christie’s wordless screaming,” and it’s a doozy:
Someone just told Chris Christie that there is no God. Or Chris Christie has just discovered that God does exist but She is an enormous snake who hates or is indifferent to mankind. Or Chris Christie has just discovered that there is no God but that Hell is real.
“When are they coming to airlift me out?” Chris Christie’s eyes are pleading. “Please tell me that they are coming and that it is soon.” But then his expression hardens. Chris Christie knows that they are not coming back for him.
There’s more of that. But our favorite laugh-out-loud re-mixing of this moment adds a little bit of music: Read more »
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, wave as they arrive at a rally at Millington Regional Airport in Millington, Tenn., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016.
Chris Christie said he was not taking any questions from the media about Donald Trump. Still, a reporter raised his hand and asked permission for just one question other than the selected topic of Christie’s press conference today, which was about Christie’s nomination to fill a long-standing vacancy on the state Supreme Court.
“No off-topic questions!” Christie bellowed from the podium. “I won’t permit you to. I told you that there will only be on-topic questions allowed today. Permission denied.” Christie later said he wasn’t taking questions about Trump “because I don’t want to.”
And why would he want to? Ever since he endorsed Donald Trump on Friday, things haven’t been going so well for the New Jersey governor.
He is taking shots from all sides. Jennifer Rubin, a columnist for the Washington Post who was previously a huge Christie backer, wrote that he was “now ruined.” Supporters like Meg Whitman, the CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and a surrogate for Christie on the campaign trail, denounced his decision: “The governor is mistaken if he believes he can now count on my support, and I call on Christie’s donors and supporters to reject the governor and Donald Trump outright.” Read more »
It wasn’t necessarily an easy first weekend for Chris Christie as Donald Trump’s surrogate and ally — more on that later — but this might’ve been the low point: A video that looks for all the world as though Trump is treating Christie as an errand boy. Judge for yourself:
The Wall Street Journal observes: “The words could be taken as purely logistical, but they were framed by critics on social media as showing Mr. Trump being dismissive of his highest-profile backer, who at one point was a rival for the Republican nomination.” Read more »
One theory about the quick demise of Chris Christie’s presidential campaign — once so full of promise — is that there was only room for one brash-talking northeasterner in the GOP race. Once Donald Trump jumped in and started being Donald Trump-ish, Christie’s usual strengths were overshadowed.
In any case, Christie is out. And today, he endorsed Trump for president.
The New York Times reports Christie said Trump “will do exactly what needs to be done to make America a leader around the world again,” and said they’d been friends for a decade. “I am proud to be here to endorse Donald Trump,” he said, at Trump’s side at a Texas gathering.
The reaction was quick on Twitter, with observers expecting Christie to play a big role in the campaign going forward.
Statistician Nate Silver, though, wasn’t so sure this is a prelude to Christie winning Trump’s VP slot:
More to come, almost certainly.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers his budget at the Statehouse, Tuesday, February 16, 2016, in Trenton, N.J. Tuesday’s budget address comes nearly a week after Christie ended his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
Chris Christie’s run for president has been over for more than a week. Now he’s back in the state where voters elected him governor with more than 60 percent of the vote more than two years ago. That has changed.
The Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released two surveys on Christie this week. Both show New Jersey’s registered voters increasingly dissatisfied with the governor.
“It is no coincidence that New Jersey voters give Governor Christie some of his lowest character ratings to date upon his return home,” Ashley Koning, assistant director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University, said in a release. “With the governor spending the last several months on the campaign trail, positive perceptions of him have taken a hit across the board in his absence – especially leadership, a trait that has usually been his strong suit since taking office.” Read more »
Chris Christie will be back in New Jersey a lot more often.
The N.J. governor, who finished 10th in Iowa and sixth in New Hampshire, is dropping out of the presidential race. His campaign confirmed the news to the Associated Press this afternoon.
Christie’s final act in the race was essentially a takedown of Marco Rubio — who had finished third in Iowa — in Saturday night’s Republican debate. Christie accused Rubio of giving a “memorized 25-second speech that is exactly what his advisers gave him.” Rubio responded by saying the same “memorized 25-second speech” as before, incredibly. But while that debate exchange hurt Rubio — he finished fifth — it did not help Christie. Read more »
New Hampshire, Chris Christie needs your vote, and he is prepared to show you just how badly. The New Jersey governor got down on one knee to appeal to an undecided voter at his town hall in Hudson, New Hampshire, Monday morning.
The normally brash, occasionally caustic Christie displayed his softer side, and it paid off. Read more »
Republican presidential candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a town hall at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016.
John Kasich phoned in his Iowa campaign. Literally.
The Ohio governor and presidential candidate held three “tele-town halls” in Iowa, where he talked with voters over the phone. At one point, he flew into Iowa to hold one rally, which The Des Moines Register called “unusual” and said he “alternately complimented and playfully antagonized the people who had come to listen to him speak.”
Kasich has concentrated most of his campaigning in New Hampshire, where according to polls he’s in a race for second place. New York Times politics writer tweeted Kasich ignored Iowa.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also focused on New Hampshire, but he did not ignore Iowa. He was there for all or part of 42 days, costing New Jersey taxpayers millions. Christie first visited the state back in 2010, and famously vetoed a symbolic pig crate ban in 2014 in order to appease Iowa voters. On Sunday night, he campaigned with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad.
His campaign manager said Kasich, who had already left the state, was making the wrong choice. “You fight for every vote,” Christie’s campaign manager, Mike DuHaime, told the Washington Post. “I know John Kasich decided to leave, and that’s fine, that’s their strategy. But you have to respect the process.” Christie told Good Morning America he wouldn’t win, but he’d do well: “What I’ve wanted all along is to come out of Iowa as the number one governor. Polls show that I will be the number one governor.”
Whoops. Read more »
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks with reporters at the National Governors Association convention Saturday, July 12, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo | Mark Humphrey)
Call it a state takeover. Call it a “partnership.” Call it … well, “You can call it what you want to call it,” in the words of Gov. Chris Christie.
Either way, the state government of New Jersey is set to move gain more control over Atlantic City’s finances. Christie, flanked by N.J. Senate president Steve Sweeney and Atlantic City mayor Don Guardian, announced today at a press conference that legislation will be forthcoming on the issue.
Atlantic City will finally get its PILOT bill, which gives the city more predictable payments from the city’s casinos and which Christie let die last week, while the state will get the power to terminate local union collective bargaining agreements, privatize utilities and other financial powers over the financially troubled casino resort town.
“Atlantic City’s finances are now the greatest threat to the city’s well-being,” Christie said at the press conference announcing the “partnership” this afternoon. “The urgency of the city’s current financial predicament cannot be overstated.”
Sweeney said a takeover bill already in the legislature will be amended with the PILOT program and other state aid to the city. Read more »