Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor who is running for president as a Republican, said earlier this week that if Donald Trump ended up being the GOP nominee for president, it would serve as an “enormous gift” to Democrats.
Appearing on the “Morning Joe” program on MSNBC on Tuesday, Christie said:
“The debate Wednesday was the starting gun in this race, and people are going to start to focus on it this fall, and when they do, Republicans are going to realize that nominating Donald Trump is going to be an enormous gift to the Democrats.
“And the Democrats are doing what they’re doing because they want Donald Trump to be the nominee because they know they can beat Donald Trump. And the reason they know they can, is they already have.”
Christie used to be considered a strong ally of Trump’s, but he has quickly become one of his biggest critics. The former governor doesn’t appear to be a really strong candidate himself, but he’s certainly using his platform in the lead-up to the GOP primaries to do all he can to convince Republican voters to side with someone other than Trump.
A recent Georgia poll showed that even though he was recently indicted on multiple criminal charges in the state, Trump still holds a lead of 42 points over the other GOP candidates. Despite that big lead, Christie said that these polls are really early, and that much can change throughout the fall, once people start to pay more attention to politics in general.
All polls that have been taken so far are just “hypothetical,” according to Christie. He even suggested that the legal challenges that Trump is facing could ultimately result in people changing their minds about Trump, since he’ll be spending so much time in court rather than campaigning.
As he told Willie Geist, the host of the MSNBC program:
“I think what you’re seeing right now, all of this stuff beforehand, Willie, in terms of the impact that his conduct and the subsequent charges are going to have on the election, have been hypothetical. Now, people are going to see what they really mean.
“They’re going to mean that a candidate can’t be out there campaigning. He’s going to be tending to his own criminal trial in federal district court in the District of Columbia, his own criminal trial in Manhattan Supreme Court in New York. And those two cases, I think, are almost certain to both be tried.”
Trump will be directly facing a criminal trial in the midst of primary season next year. Tanya Chutkn, the U.S. District judge overseeing the federal case revolved around Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, set March 4, 2024, as when jury selection will begin.
That’s just one day before the all-important Super Tuesday, meaning that Trump’s criminal charges will be front-of-mind for many people as they set to head to the polls on one of primary season’s most important dates.