New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) delivered a challenge to Republican presidential rival Ben Carson on CNN’s “New Day” on Monday morning: “Come out and tell us exactly what is going on.”
Christie, who is no stranger to intense press coverage, argued that Carson should directly address the media’s questions about inconsistent or false details of his personal history. In just the last week, the retired neurosurgeon has been accused of misrepresenting an offer to attend the prestigious U.S. Military Academy at West Point and changing key details about his violent outbursts as a youth.
Still, Christie said, any presidential candidate must be able to withstand intensive public vetting.
“I heard him this morning say he’s been more scrutinized than anybody in the race, and it’s unfair,” Christie told host Chris Cuomo. “Is he kidding?”
The New Jersey Governor argued that the media grilling he received over the 2013-2014 Bridgegate scandal—in which top Christie aides allegedly orchestrated lane closures on the George Washington Bridge to punish a local political opponent—far exceeded the negative attention Carson currently faces.
“Did he watch what I went through in January of 2014 for months and months of relentless attacks from people in the media and in the partisan Democratic Party, when it turned out I did absolutely nothing wrong?” he said.
“I haven’t gotten a note of apology from anyone,” Christie continued. “A couple of days of being asked about something you put in your books, I have to tell you, I don’t have a lot of sympathy. He should answer the questions forthrightly and directly. If he does, the American people will accept it. If he doesn’t, then he’s got a problem.”