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What Chris Christie Said About Donald Trump BEFORE The Endorsement

AP Photo / Chuck Burton

Knocked Trump For Skipping Fox News Debate

In January, Christie slammed Trump for boycotting the Fox News presidential debate, saying that Trump was acting like a "13-year-old." He said Trump's reaction to Fox News' coverage of him said a lot about the kind of president he would be.

"What’s that tell you about what we can expect if things go sideways when you go into the Oval Office? What are you going to do? Just go upstairs to the residence and say I’m not playing?" he asked. “You know, Vladimir Putin isn’t being nice to me, I’m not going to return his phone call? The press isn’t being nice to me, I’m not going to hold any more press conferences?"

Called Trump "Thin-Skinned"

Christie also told Boston Herald Radio that Trump's decision to skip the debate showed that the real estate mogul is "think-skinned."

"I think it just makes people call into question his judgment," Christie said. "America wants a fighter who’s not going to walk away from a fight, but will walk into one."

Said Trump's Proposed Muslim Ban Was "Ridiculous"

Christie bashed Trump's proposal to ban Muslims was "the kind of thing that people say when they have no experience and don't know what they're talking about."

"We do not need to endorse that type of activity, nor should we," he said. "You do not need to be banning Muslims from the country. That's, in my view, that's a ridiculous position and one that won't even be productive."

Described Trump As A Carnival Barker

During a January event in New Hampshire, Christie called Trump one of the "carnival barkers of today."

"Showtime is over. We are not electing an entertainer-in-chief. Showmanship is fun, but it is not the kind of leadership that will truly change America," Christie said of Trump.

Said Trump's Border Wall Plan "Makes No Sense"

Christie dismissed Trump's insistence that the Mexican government would pay for a wall along the United States' southern border.

"This makes no sense. I've met [Mexican] President Nieto a number of times. I don't think if we present him with a bill he's going to pay for it," Christie said on CNN. "This is not negotiation of a real estate deal, OK? This is international diplomacy, and it's different."

Mocked Trump For Calling Everyone Losers

Christie offered a Trump impression on the campaign trail, telling a crowd that, "Everyone in Washington is a loser."

Christie then said that "anybody can burn a building down, but not everybody can rebuild it."

Criticized Trump For Not Correcting Man Who Said Obama Is Muslim

The New Jersey governor criticized Trump for failing to correct an audience member who said that President Obama is a Muslim and that Muslims are a "problem in this country."

"I wouldn't have permitted that," Christie said in September. "If someone brought that up at a town hall of mine, I would have said 'Before we answer, let's clear some things up for the rest of the audience,' and I think you have an obligation as a leader to do that."

Suggested Trump Didn't Have Enough Experience

During a January town hall in New Hampshire, Christie pointed out that he has more experience than Trump.

"I tell everybody who goes to a Donald Trump event, if you get to ask a question, just ask him 'how?'" Christie said. "I don’t care which of the things he talks about just ask him, 'How? How?'"

"I can answer 'how?' because I’ve done it," he continued, adding, "that’s the difference between a governor and Donald Trump. That’s the different between a governor and (senator) Marco Rubio. That’s the different between a governor and (senator) Ted Cruz."

Said Trump Was "Painfully Naive" About Syria Policy

In October, the New Jersey governor said that Trump's thoughts on U.S. policy regarding Syria were "painfully naive."

Criticized Trump For Mocking Those With Disabilities

In December, Christie slammed Trump for mocking a reporter suffering from a disability.

“He shouldn’t be making fun of people with disabilities,” Christie said. "It’s just not worthy of someone running for the president of the United States."

“He’s got to answer for himself,” he continued. "Part of the folly of all this is that we’re answering for him. He’s said what’s he’s said, and now the people who vote will have to judge him. In the context of Donald, outrageous is a high bar.”

Pushed Back On Trump's 9/11 Comments

When Trump claimed that Muslims cheered on Sept. 11, 2001, when the Twin Towers fell, Christie pushed back on the statement and said "that didn't happen."

Said Trump's Comments Weren't Worth His Time

In July, Christie said he didn't want to talk about Trump, though the governor went on to address some of Trump's statements later in the election cycle.

"I don’t comment on his comments. It’s just not worth the time," Christie said at the time.

About The Author


Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.