Christie takes a jab at Trump for losing last year's election

John Wagner
Washington Post

Washington - Former New Jersey Republican governor Chris Christie took at a jab at Donald Trump for losing last year's election, signaling a willingness to spar with the former president as they both consider 2024 White House bids.

"I'm not gonna get into a back-and-forth with Donald Trump," Christie said in an interview for an upcoming episode of "Axios on HBO." "But what I will say is this: When I ran for reelection in 2013, I got 60% of the vote. When he ran for reelection, he lost to Joe Biden."

"I'm happy to have that comparison stand up, because that's the one that really matters," Christie added.

In this Nov. 20, 2016 file photo, then President-elect Donald Trump waves to the media as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie arrives at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse, in Bedminster, N.J.

Christie, who at times has had a friendly relationship with Trump, including last year when he advised him ahead of debates with Biden, was responding to a taunt earlier this week from Trump.

Speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition conference last weekend in Las Vegas, Christie sought to make the case that Republicans should stop focusing on last year's election, an exercise he characterized as "wasting time."

That did not sit well with Trump, who continues to push baseless claims about vote fraud and characterize the election as an "insurrection."

On Monday, Trump claimed that Christie had been "absolutely massacred" for his comments at the conference.

"Everybody remembers that Chris left New Jersey with a less than 9% approval rating - a record low, and they didn't want to hear this from him!" Trump said of Christie.

Christie did, in fact, experience record low job approval numbers toward the end of his tenure in New Jersey, which included the so-called Bridgegate scandal that resulted in heavy traffic jams in the state and ended with the convictions of two of his former aides.

An excerpt of Christie's interview with Axios, which is scheduled to air in full on HBO on Sunday, was released Thursday. 

In the interview, Christie stood by his contention that Republicans should stop focusing on last year's election.

"I've made a conscious decision that I want to spend my time combating the policies of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris - and trying to help Republicans win governorships and the House and the Senate in 2022," Christie said. "This is not an argument that I'll walk away from. . . . I think it's much more productive to fight those policies than to fight with other Republicans."