Chris Christie: Booker has 'legitimate chance' against Trump

Chris Christie: Booker has 'legitimate chance' against Trump
© Stefani Reynolds

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) says home state Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerCastro qualifies for next Democratic primary debates Eight Democratic presidential hopefuls to appear in CNN climate town hall Biden, Buttigieg bypassing Democratic delegate meeting: report MORE (D) could have what it takes to defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpFacebook releases audit on conservative bias claims Harry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Recessions happen when presidents overlook key problems MORE.

Speaking at a Washington Post event Friday, Christie called the former Newark mayor "talented" and "articulate" and said Booker could be a force to be reckoned with in 2020.

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"[I] hope that he stays in this campaign to the roots that I saw him establish in New Jersey," Christie said. "He was someone who was pro-voucher, he was pro-charter school, he was somebody who was tough on crime in the city of Newark.

"If he stays in that lane and is the articulate, inspirational guy that he is, then I think he's got a legitimate chance to be a serious potential problem for the president in the general election," Christie added. "[But] if he just goes way, wacky left, he's going to be just another one of those people and he won't be able to distinguish himself."

Christie's comments come after Booker announced his 2020 candidacy Friday morning, coinciding with the start of Black History Month. He joins fellow Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Warren offers plan to repeal 1994 crime law authored by Biden Sanders leads Democratic field in Colorado poll MORE (D-Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHarry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Warren offers plan to repeal 1994 crime law authored by Biden Panel: Jill Biden's campaign message MORE (D-Mass.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandCastro qualifies for next Democratic primary debates The Hill's Morning Report - Trump searches for backstops amid recession worries 2020 Democrats react to NYPD firing of officer in Garner case: 'Finally' MORE (D-N.Y.) in what is expected to be a crowded Democratic primary field.

Booker touted his experience Friday in a video proclaiming his ties to Newark and touting himself as "the only senator who goes home to a low-income, inner-city community."

“I believe that we can build a country where no one is forgotten, no one is left behind; where parents can put food on the table; where there are good-paying jobs with good benefits in every neighborhood; where our criminal justice system keeps us safe, instead of shuffling more children into cages and coffins; where we see the faces of our leaders on television and feel pride, not shame,” Booker said in the video.