- Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is urging Donald Trump to “move on” from the 2020 election.
- Christie told CNN that Trump must “tell the truth” if he wants to be a positive force in the midterms.
- Christie has broken with Trump in the past, saying last September that Trump should “accept defeat.”
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said former President Donald Trump needs to “tell the truth” about the 2020 election and move on.
Christie also had advice for the GOP, saying that if it wants to build on electoral wins — like Glenn Youngkin’s win in Virginia’s heated gubernatorial race last week — Republicans need to move past Trump’s voter-fraud claims.
In an interview with CNN this weekend, Christie said he thought Trump could be a “very positive force for Republican candidates” in the 2022 midterm elections if he would start “talking about the future and tell the truth about the election and move on.”
The former governor spoke to CNN after a Las Vegas event where he addressed supporters at the Republican Jewish Coalition conference. According to the Coalition’s website, among the big GOP names at the three-day event were former Vice President Mike Pence, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Christie told CNN that with the midterms coming up, Trump must decide if he wants to be “a leader for tomorrow or a figure of yesterday.”
“We can no longer talk about the past and the past elections — no matter where you stand on that issue, no matter where you stand, it is over,” Christie said at the conference, per CNN. “People want us to be direct with them. They want someone to fight for them. But they want them to fight in a way that doesn’t hurt their ears.”
Christie has broken with Trump in the past on the latter’s baseless allegations of voter fraud. Last December, Christie called for Trump and the GOP to “accept defeat” after “no evidence” surfaced of electoral fraud.
In September, Christie also asked Republicans to “face the realities of the 2020 election and learn, not hide from them.”
“We need to renounce the conspiracy theorists and the truth deniers. The ones who know better and the ones who are just plain nuts,” Christie said at a September 9 event at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, per CNN. “We need to give our supporters facts that will help them put all those fantasies to rest.”
There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, and the Trump camp’s lawsuits alleging voter fraud in states including Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania have failed.
Even so, the former president has continued to call for vote audits in various states. On October 15, Trump called for a vote recount in Pima County, Arizona’s second-most populous county after Maricopa County. Trump has also continued to claim the Cyber Ninjas’ vote recount in Maricopa County uncovered “undeniable evidence” of fraud, despite the Republican-driven audit confirming that President Joe Biden beat Trump by 261 more votes than were initially counted.
Christie, who ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, told CNN he would wait until after the midterms to see if he wants to throw his hat into the ring in 2024. He said his decision would hinge on whether he believes he has “the talent, the skill and the ability to be able to win,” and not be based on whether Trump is running or not.
The former governor has been mired in his fair share of scandals, too. In the 2013 Bridgegate scandal, Christie’s staff members were indicted for purposefully closing lanes on the George Washington Bridge to cause massive traffic jams, a move that was theorized to be a retributive political attack on Mark Sokolich, the Democrat mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey.
Christie was formerly a Trump ally, having supported the former president in 2016 and 2020. He has since blasted Trump’s legal team and called them a “national embarrassment,” and slammed Trump’s conduct following the January 6 Capitol riot.