On “Nerdshala on HBO,” former New Jersey governor Chris Christie gives a rough start on the potential 2024 candidates he plans to decide whether to run based on former President Trump:
- “Those people who say they will defy Donald Trump have disqualified themselves from being president,” Christie told me during an extensive interview in New Jersey. “Because if you’re not ready to stand up to anyone, … how can you … you stand up for everyone while you’re president?”
why it matters: Christie, who is playing a possible run out in 2024, is indicating he has no fear of engaging with friend Trump of 20 years, leaving him 1/6. And he is portraying more cautious Republicans as cowards.
state of play: Many aspiring Republicans try too hard to avoid emboldening Trump — or get crossways with his supporters, who dominate the party’s base.
- Former Vice President Mike Pence has made it clear that he will not wait for his former boss to make a decision. I’m told that Pence’s view is that whether he’s being called to service doesn’t depend on what Trump does.
Christie told me: “I think that if you believe that you have the talent, ability, skill to be President of the United States of America, then you should not put anyone off if you think you are the best person.”
on other subjectsChristie said:
- He has no regrets about helping Trump prepare for his re-election debate: “The only regret I have is that I got COVID while I was doing this.”
- His seven days in the ICU with COVID were “very scary”: “My body ached like I’ve never felt in my life. I had a very, very high fever, sweating, difficulty breathing and a brutal headache… . I definitely thought I might die.”
- He has this advice for anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated against COVID: “Talk to people like me who have it, talk to family members of people who’ve died from it — and your doctor.” Talk to.”