Republican presidential candidate and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie responded to the audience that booed him for attacking former President Donald Trump last week.
Appearing on ABC News’s “This Week” on Sunday, Christie defended his comments at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington, D.C., on Friday, which were not well-received by the religious conservative audience, many of whom booed him.
“People understand that folks need to take responsibility for what they do, and my message to the folks at Faith and Freedom, which did get some good reaction too, but of course I expected the boo’s — that is predominantly a Trump crowd, but they need to hear the truth, too,” Christie told host Jonathon Karl. “Character is the single most important element of a president of the United States.”
Christie told Karl that, despite the booing, his anti-Trump message is “absolutely” resonating with voters, pointing out that even though he’s been in the race for a short time, he is polling in third place in New Hampshire with 9% of the vote — four percentage points shy of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, according to a recent New Hampshire Journal/coefficient poll. The poll shows Trump doing well in the Granite State, with 47% support among GOP primary voters.
An NBC News poll released on Sunday shows Christie polling at 5%, behind Trump at 51%, DeSantis at 22%, and former Vice President Mike Pence at 7%
“I’ve been in the race for less than three weeks and I’m already in third place in New Hampshire, only four points behind Ron DeSantis, who has been in the race for a longer time and is supposed to be the co-frontrunner,” Christie said.
When Trump spoke at the conference on Saturday, he referenced the crowd’s reaction to Christie the day before.
“Were your other candidates treated this way? I don’t think so,” Trump asked Raph Reed, founder and chairman of Faith and Freedom Coalition, in front of the crowd. “Actually, I saw one who was booed off the stage!” Trump said to the cheering audience.