Former governor of New Jersey Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was an ally of President Donald Trump and he reacted to the ex-presidents' political movement and baseless claims about election fraud on Thursday. He urged the Republicans to end their alliance with conspiracy theorists as well as truth deniers within their ranks.
Trump's once-trusted ally discredit his cult personality, all while not saying his name during... (not pictured here). AFP via Getty Images
The Key Facts
Christie stated that Trump's embrace of radical elements in the GOP was similar to Barry Goldwater's refusal to call out the conspiratorial John Birch Society because he didnt want to offend the base. Christie said that Trump's embrace of radical elements in the GOP was likened to Barry Goldwater's refusal to speak out against the conspiracy John Birch Society in 1964. This is a common theme for Republicans such as former Vice President Mike Pence or former House Speaker Paul Ryan, who are trying to distance themselves from Trump while still preserving their political prospects.
Trump and Christie have had an unusual alliance that has lasted well into 2020. He endorsed Trump's candidacy in 2016 shortly after he had lost his presidential bid. This helped to bolster the credentials of the then-outsider candidate at a time when many of the GOP establishment still distrusted him. Christie helped Trump prepare for debate and was present at a White House celebration to honor the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
Christie has also been critical of Trump in recent years. Christie was hospitalized in October after contracting coronavirus along with other members of Trump's debate prep team. He said that he should have worn an anti-bacterial mask during debate prep, and that he shouldn't have relied upon the White House assurances that everyone at Barrett had been tested. He also called Trump's legal challenges regarding his 2020 election loss a national embarrassment.
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Christie, widely considered a 2016 presidential frontrunner, lost his popularity and was viewed as being in danger of losing the election. In a May podcast interview, he stated that he will not be influenced by anyone when making his decision about whether or not to run. He also said that if Trump makes his comeback bid, he would wait to hear.