Republican presidential candidate and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has responded with confidence to recent attacks made against him by former President Donald Trump, the current front-runner for the Republican nomination in the 2024 race.
During an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Thursday, Christie criticized Trump for refusing to participate in the upcoming Republican presidential debates. According to Christie, this would have given Trump the opportunity to confront his fellow candidates directly.
"If he had any courage, he would show up on the debate stage," Christie asserted, highlighting that Trump was hiding behind his underperforming "Truth Social" platform.
In a series of posts on Truth Social launched on Wednesday night, Trump labeled Christie a "grifter" and raised concerns about his tenure as New Jersey governor. Trump specifically pointed to Christie's low approval rating towards the end of his two terms. The posts also included well-known pictures of Christie sitting at a New Jersey beach during the 2017 government shutdown when the beaches were off-limits.
While Christie has consistently lagged behind in the 2024 presidential polling, he has been putting in a strong effort to make a name for himself in New Hampshire, a crucial early primary state.
According to a recent poll conducted by CNN and the University of New Hampshire, Trump continues to maintain a significant lead in the state with 39% support. However, Christie finds himself in a close race for second place with tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy (13%), former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (12%), and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (10%). DeSantis, who was seen as Trump's main rival in the state, has experienced a significant decline in his poll numbers recently.
In response to Trump's recent attacks, Christie suggested that his rise in popularity in New Hampshire might be what prompted the former president's accusations.
"He's shifted his attention from Ron DeSantis to me," Christie humorously noted during the CNN interview.
Christie also jokingly speculated whether Trump's critical posts on Truth Social were a result of indigestion.
"Maybe he had some bad Chinese food or something," Christie quipped.
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