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 BookerPoll: Biden holds 10-point lead nationally over Warren Trump declines to participate in Weather Channel 2020 climate change special Bennet: Warren 'not being honest about' her 'Medicare for All' plan MORE (D) could have what it takes to defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails 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 HarrisClinton attacks on Gabbard become flashpoint in presidential race Poll: Biden holds 10-point lead nationally over Warren Trump declines to participate in Weather Channel 2020 climate change special MORE (D-Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren to protest with striking Chicago teachers Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Four companies reach 0M settlement in opioid lawsuit | Deal opens door to larger settlements | House panel to consider vaping tax | Drug pricing markup tomorrow On The Money: Trump dismisses 'phony Emoluments Clause' after Doral criticism | Senate Dems signal support for domestic spending package | House panel to consider vaping tax MORE (D-Mass.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSanders seeks spark from Ocasio-Cortez at Queens rally Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs Senate confirms Trump's Air Force secretary pick 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.