Campaign

Trump hits Christie after calls for GOP to move past 2020 election claims

Former President Trump hammered former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Monday after Christie called on Republicans to move past Trump’s baseless claim that the 2020 election had been stolen from him.

Christie, a former Trump ally, made the remarks at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s conference in Las Vegas, during which he urged the GOP to present a “plan for tomorrow, not a grievance about yesterday.” 

“Winning campaigns are always the campaigns that look forward, not backwards,” he said, warning that Republicans would pay a political price if they continue to dwell on the 2020 presidential election.

Christie’s comments drew the ire of Trump, who has continued to claim more than a year after losing his reelection bid that widespread voter fraud and malfeasance cost him a second term in the Oval Office.

“Chris Christie, who just made a speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) in Las Vegas, was just absolutely massacred by his statements that Republicans have to move on from the past, meaning the 2020 Election Fraud,” Trump said in a statement. “Everybody remembers that Chris left New Jersey with a less than 9% approval rating – a record low, and they didn’t want to hear this from him!”

Christie’s remarks — and Trump’s response — come as Republicans debate the extent to which they should tie themselves to the former president as they head into the 2022 midterms. 

While the party and its candidates for years have viewed Trump as their most influential surrogate, some Republicans have begun to look at the winning campaign of Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin as a potential model for success in 2022. 

Unlike many GOP candidates, Youngkin sought to keep the former president at arm’s length throughout his campaign. While he accepted Trump’s endorsement, he never campaigned alongside him in Virginia, choosing to focus on issues such as education and taxes rather than tie himself to the former president.

Youngkin ended up overperforming — and in some cases winning — parts of the commonwealth that had drifted away from the GOP in recent years. He made particular gains among many of the suburban voters who had helped power Democratic wins in Virginia during Trump’s tenure in the White House.

Of course, many Republicans remain deeply loyal to Trump and the political movement he commands. And Christie has spoken critically of Trump before, breaking with the former president over his stolen election claims. His remarks in Las Vegas over the weekend drew uneven applause.

Tags 2020 election 2024 election Chris Christie Donald Trump Glenn Youngkin RJC conference Virginia governor's race

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