New Jersey governor Chris Christie is trying to make himself relevant again by strangely endorsing Donald Trump for president, a candidate he viciously targeted throughout his failed campaign.
During a press conference on Friday, Christie seemed to have a change of heart (or a severe case of memory loss) when he said, “There is no one who is better prepared to provide America with the strong leadership that it needs both at home and around the world, than Donald Trump.”
Christie seemed to have quite a different perspective when he was running for the GOP presidential nomination, often belittling the real estate tycoon with endearing pet names like “carnival barker” and “entertainer-in-chief.”
So in light of his puzzling endorsement, let’s take a look back at the politician’s most pointed critiques:
Slammed Trump for skipping debate
Christie attacked Trump in January for boycotting the Fox News debate because of his quarrels with moderator Megyn Kelly. Christie said the candidate was acting like a “13-year-old” and stressed the move not only demonstrated his immaturity but lack of leadership as well.
"What’s that tell you about what we can expect if things go sideways when you go into the Oval Office? What are you going to do? Just go upstairs to the residence and say I’m not playing?" he asked. “You know, Vladimir Putin isn’t being nice to me, I’m not going to return his phone call? The press isn’t being nice to me, I’m not going to hold any more press conferences?"
Condemned his Muslim ban
Christie blasted Trump’s controversial ban on Muslim immigration as the sort of activity a person with no experience would propose.
"This is the kind of thing that people say when they have no experience and don't know what they're talking about. We do not need to endorse that type of activity, nor should we," Christie said in an interview with radio host Michael Medved. "You do not need to be banning Muslims from the country. That's, in my view, that's a ridiculous position and one that won't even be productive."
Questioned Trump’s experience
The New Jersey governor also mentioned Trump’s inexperience on numerous occasions. In one instance, Christie insidiously referenced Trump’s zero political experience compared to the rest of the GOP presidential field.
"I tell everybody who goes to a Donald Trump event, if you get to ask a question, just ask him 'how?'" Christie said. "I don’t care which of the things he talks about just ask him, 'How? How?'"
"I can answer 'how?' because I’ve done it," he added. “That’s the difference between a governor and Donald Trump. That’s the difference between a governor and (senator) Marco Rubio. That’s the difference between a governor and (senator) Ted Cruz."
Over the summer, Christie also noted that Trump was a “good person” but he doesn’t believe Trump is “suited to be president of the United States.”
Not for his “showman” politics
Christie made several snarky remarks about Trump’s entertainment version of politics.
“Showtime is over, everybody. We are not electing an entertainer-in-chief,” he said. “Showmanship is fun but it is not the kind of leadership that will truly change America,”
Christie also took a subtle jab at Trump’s former position as a reality television host.
“We do not need reality TV in the Oval Office right now,” he said. “President of the United States is not a place for an entertainer.”
Criticized Trump for mocking disabilities
In December, Christie chastised Trump for mimicking a reporter with a disability.
“He shouldn’t be making fun of people with disabilities,” Christie said. "It’s just not worthy of someone running for the president of the United States."
Christie is also being accused of breaking a promise to never endorse Trump.
According to Politico, Christie told Union Leader publisher, Joe McQuaid, that he would never endorse Trump.
Yet he received a phone call from a mutual friend the day after the New Hampshire primary, saying Christie was going to endorse him.
"So I sent a message off to Gov. Christie and he called me right back and I told him what I'd heard, and he said 'No, no, I would never do that,'" McQuaid said in a interview with Politico. "[Christie] told me to tell the other guy to 'take his head out of his a**' for saying he would support Trump."
Christie was once vehemently against a Trump presidency, so what changed?
Banner image credit: Reuters