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 BookerNewsom endorses Kamala Harris for president Trump tweets video mocking Dems not cheering during State of the Union Former Virginia Gov McAuliffe writes book about confronting white nationalism MORE (D) could have what it takes to defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery 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 HarrisNewsom endorses Kamala Harris for president Constitutional conservatives need to oppose the national emergency Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Dems blast rulemaking on family planning program | Facebook may remove anti-vaccine content | Medicare proposes coverage for new cancer treatment MORE (D-Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenNewsom endorses Kamala Harris for president Constitutional conservatives need to oppose the national emergency Poll: Sanders, Biden seen as most popular second choices in Dem primary MORE (D-Mass.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandNewsom endorses Kamala Harris for president Trump tweets video mocking Dems not cheering during State of the Union Omar: Next president should declare national emergency on climate change ‘on day 1’ 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.