Chris Christie – Could He Destroy Donald Trump? Never doubt the power of ego. In politicians, never underestimate their ego’s ability to convince them that they are the one we’ve been waiting for.
This explains much of the Republican Party’s Presidential Primary in 2024. With the exceptions of former President Donald J. Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, none of the other Keebler Elves running for the nomination should be taken seriously.
Anyone with an ability to realistically assess themselves and a given situation, such as the current state of the GOP Primary, would be able to quickly ascertain that no one other than Trump or DeSantis will be the nominee.
Yet, press on these candidates do.
It reminds me of the old saw about how every US Senator, when they look at themselves in a bathroom mirror, they see a president staring back at them. The power of self-delusion among America’s leadership is powerful.
For some, such as the former vice-president, Mike Pence, it might be harder to see because (at least on paper) he seems like such a competitive alternative to the frontrunner. Of course, everyone knows Mike Pence is completely uncompetitive.
In fact, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) or former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie might end up being more competitive than Mike Pence will be in the GOP Primary!
As the GOP readies for its primary on August 23, there is much consternation coming from the Republican National Committee (RNC) because the forty-fifth president has been castigating the pending debate as a waste of time. According to him, there shouldn’t be a debate at all, since he’s more than 20 points ahead of his nearest competitor, Ron DeSantis.
Chris Christie’s Candidacy
People like Chris Christie keep plunging ahead. Surprisingly, the onetime Trump ally-turned-critic has made headway in the early primary state of New Hampshire, where Christie has dedicated the bulk of his limited campaign resources. Christie has applied his combative style of politics against the former president.
While his overall poll numbers are in the toilet (when compared with Trump’s), the fact is that his criticisms just might keep him afloat, as there is a strong contingent of Republican voters who are not as committed to Trump’s candidacy as the “MAGA” crowd is.
Is it enough to change the outcome? No. But Christie just needs to be relevant long enough to damage the former president whom he once called a friend (and Trump, despite the forty-fifth president’s denials, once considered Christie a friend as well). For both Christie and Trump, this is not about politics or the election.
Christie’s entry into the 2024 GOP Primary is solely about damaging the forty-fifth president.
Should Christie share the same stage with Trump, the former New Jersey governor will likely score some key hits on Trump. Not only because Christie is an effective public speaker, but also because Christie knows Trump personally.
Remember, he was the first of the GOP candidates in 2016 to drop out and endorse Trump.
A Long History with Trump
Before the infamous Billy Bush tape incident, it looked as though Christie was going to be Trump’s first White House Chief of Staff. Christie’s opposition to Trump continuing his candidacy in 2016 after the Billy Bush tape was released ended his time with the Trump Campaign that year.
Again, at the height of COVID-19, Trump was courting Christie to come onboard as his chief of staff (a suggestion that former First Lady Melania Trump made).
It remains to be seen whether Christie is as deluded as others, like Mike Pence, are that he stands a real chance at knocking Trump out and becoming the nominee. Maybe in the darkest recesses of his mind, Christie envisions such an outcome.
Although, this particular candidacy seems much more based upon revenge and a true belief that Donald Trump is some kind of a threat to our hallowed republic (whatever is left of it in the wake of the Biden presidency).
Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold
Given that Christie’s mission seems merely predicated on tearing Trump down, the former president must be careful. Such men are dangerous. Whether Christie’s attacks resonate with GOP voters isn’t as important as what Christie’s public attacks on Trump will do to independent voters.
That’s not because independents vote in the GOP Primary.
But if Chris Christie’s criticisms are strong enough against Trump, the Democrats will certainly pick up those attacks, and replicate them for the fence-sitting independent voters (for which Trump performs poorly) during the General Election.
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.
From the Vault