Sour grapes have never tasted quite so sour. After Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie was forced to drop out of the 2024 race in early January, he refused to back any of his rivals and, unsurprisingly, doubled down on his efforts to discredit former President Donald Trump.
As he headed out the door, he forever cemented his spot as a top Trump hater. “Imagine just for a moment if 9/11 had happened with Donald Trump behind the desk,” Christie said. “The first thing he would have done was run to the bunker to protect himself. He would have put himself first before this country.”
He took a moment to apologize for supporting Trump in 2016 after the GOP frontrunner derailed his initial run for the presidency. Soon after being booted out of the 2016 contest, he became Trump’s first endorsement on the road of defeated Republican candidates. It’s a mistake that he vows he will never make again.
Now, fresh out of a devastating and decisive loss, Christie has said he will back President Joe Biden and insists that all Republicans do the same. “If you wanna save the Republican Party, the way to do it isn’t to suck it up and vote for Trump. It’s to get Trump beat with a stick, and that’s why I am supporting Joe Biden.”
Christie has won no friends among his GOP challengers, and his exit from the race ended in a hot-mic moment where he was caught bashing them. He mentioned that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had called him “petrified” that he wouldn’t support him if he dropped out. He also referred to Nikki Haley’s predicted defeat, saying she would “get smoked” and suggesting she wasn’t up for the race.
Unfortunately for Christie, his arch-nemesis quickly took to Truth Social to agree with the disgraced former New Jersey governor’s observations about Haley. Trump posted that Christie’s view of Haley’s chances was “truthful.”
Earlier this month, Christie withdrew from the New Hampshire primary. His decision was straightforward – he realized he had no chance of winning. His departure followed increasing pressure from within his party to abandon the race. Christie was notable for being the most vocal critic of former President Trump among prominent contenders. From the start, he declared that Trump was unfit for office, an outspoken opinion that ultimately hindered his candidacy.
Supporters of Haley, including New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, urged Christie to exit the race and endorse Haley. However, Christie was cautious about endorsing Haley and potentially facing a situation where she might agree to be Trump’s running mate.
While Christie was not a Trump supporter, his statements about Biden revealed that he wasn’t a fan of the current president, either. He called Biden “old” and “not an exciting candidate” during a February appearance on Speaking on ABC’s “This Week.”
Christie expressed his belief during the segment that Americans struggled to connect with Biden. He characterized Biden as unexciting and dull, pointing out the challenges posed by his age. Christie argued that at 82 years old, Biden couldn’t maintain a “traditional” campaign schedule with multiple stops in various cities and towns. Christie also suggested that the pandemic had shielded Biden from daily public appearances during the 2020 presidential race.
It’s no surprise that Christie, who suffers from a terminal case of Trump Derangement Syndrome, would consider any path to block his rival from the White House, even condemning the United States to another Biden term.
Jonathan Last, an editor at the anti-Trump “conservative” Bulwark, suggests that Christie take his anti-Trump campaign on the road and appear at the DNC in Chicago in August. Last supports the idea of Christie taking the Democratic stage and declaring affiliation as a Republican while emphasizing the need to save the party by not supporting Trump.
Instead, Last feels the best call for Christie is officially supporting Joe Biden and encouraging fellow Republicans to do the same but to vote for other GOP candidates down-ballot. Last highlights the importance of the upcoming election, particularly in crucial states like Arizona and Georgia, and expresses the need for “all hands on deck” to prevent “someone who has expressed authoritarian tendencies” from winning the White House.
If Christie wants to derail the Trump train, he should throw his support behind a candidate more likely to present a serious challenge to the current GOP frontrunner. But the only one Christie supports is Christie, even now. Republicans made it clear they didn’t want him, and now all that remains for Christie is to wait and see if the Democrats want him.
But judging by Christie’s lackluster performance on the debate stage, it’s highly doubtful Biden wants him in his corner, either.