2024 GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie got testy on Thursday when and attacked former President Donald Trump for previously suggesting he may not participate in the GOP primary debates.
During an interview on Fox & Friends, host Brian Kilmeade brought in Christie, who was beamed in from a diner in New Hampshire and saw a clip from Trump’s recent interview with Bret Baier. Trump told Baier in the interview that he didn’t feel the need to participate in the primary debates because his poll numbers were so far ahead of the other Republican candidates.
Trump said, “Christie is, I guess, 1% or less. Many of them, Nikki Haley’s is a 2%. So why would I allow people at one and 2% and 0% to be hitting me with questions on? You know, I don’t think it’s fair.”
Kilmeade asked Christie to respond.
“Oh, it’s not fair, Brian. It’s not fair.” Christie taunted the former president, “poor Donald Trump,” likely knowing full well that the former president was more than likely watching Fox & Friends while he was speaking.
Christie then mocked Trump as “the guy who wants to be president of the United States, the guy who says that he’s the toughest person to lead this country, doesn’t want to get up in front of Republican primary voters and defend his record and make a case for the future of America.”
“Look, every Republican primary voter should have the opportunity to see all those people who qualify up on the stage debating with each other,” he continued before mentioning his website for donations.
“He can’t avoid this, Brian. It’s not fair to the Republican Party voters,” he said. “I think it’s disrespectful. He thinks he should just default to the nomination. I don’t think so. And I believe that everyone should have the right to get up there and debate who qualifies under the rules. And Donald Trump has an obligation to be up there and do it. And by the way, I think he will debate Bryan. I don’t think you’ll be able to stay away.”
During an interview on “America’s Newsroom,” Hemmer kicked off the segment by noting that Trump is “crushing it” in the polls, which led to him asking if voters actually want a Trump critic in the Republican primary. Christie — who has clearly positioned himself as a “Trump critic” — was not pleased with Hemmer’s opening praise of Trump.
After shrugging off Trump, Christie turned his attention to President Joe Biden. That led to Hemmer bringing up the border, prompting Christie to agree “the border is ridiculous.”
That’s when Hemmer opined that Trump’s policies “did much better on everything that you just mentioned.”
“Wait a second, Bill. His policies did not do better at the border. Not true,” Christie retorted. “Remember what he promised in 2016? He was going to build a wall across the entire border in the first four years and Mexico was going to pay for it. We got a wall that’s about a quarter of the way done and Mexico hasn’t given us one peso yet. So Donald Trump in 2016 was the guy who had no record, so he couldn’t be examined in a very specific way. He now said he was going to do that with immigration. And by the way, he had Congress for the first two years fully controlled by the Republicans. Not one change in the immigration laws.”
“You can go down to the border today and see piles of steel that are just laying there in the Arizona desert,” Hemmer said.
“Those piles of steel have been sitting there since Donald Trump was president,” Christie shot back. “He didn’t get it done. He couldn’t convince a Republican Congress to fund the wall. He couldn’t finish it and he didn’t change one immigration law.”
Christie made headlines prior to that when he drew groans from a small audience during his campaign launch when he appeared to take a cheap shot at Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner.
“The grift from this family is breathtaking. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Kushner walk out of the White House, and months later get $2 billion from the Saudis,” he said, going on to criticize Kushner’s role in then-President Donald Trump’s White House.
“You think it’s because he’s some kind of investing genius? Or do you think it’s because he was sitting next to the president of the United States for four years doing favors for the Saudis? That’s your money. That’s your money he stole and gave it to his family. You know what that makes us? A banana republic,” he said.