“We do not need reality TV in the Oval Office right now": A look back at Chris Christie's greatest slams against his new BFF, Donald Trump

Christie's backing Trump, but let's not forget the choice words he had for the billionaire on the campaign trail

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published February 26, 2016 8:29PM (EST)

Gov. Chris Christie and Donald Trump
Gov. Chris Christie and Donald Trump

Not exactly a Friday afternoon news dump, but in certainly a surprise announcement meant to overtake rather than hide beneath the news cycle, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed Donald Trump in Texas today.

“There is no one who is better prepared to provide America with the strong leadership it leads,” Christie said of his one-time rival on Friday. Of course, Christie wasn't always singing the Donald's praises. Here are just a few of Christie's choice words reserved for the Republican's dominant presidential frontrunner:

On his qualifications to be president: Trump’s “temperament is [not] suited for that and I don’t think his experience is.”

Campaigning against Trump in New Hampshire last month, Trump warned that if Republicans nominate a candidate like Trump “we could wind up turning over the White House to Hillary Clinton for four more years.”

“We are not electing an entertainer-in-chief. Showmanship is fun, but it’s not the type of leadership that will truly change America,” Christie said on the campus of Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, New Hampshire. “If we’re going to turn our frustration and anger with the D.C. insiders and the politicians of yesterday and the carnival barkers of today into something that will actually change Americans’ lives, then we must elect someone who has been tested, someone with proven experience.”

“We do not need reality TV in the Oval Office right now,” Christie said of Trump. “President of the United States is not a place for an entertainer.”

On his easy ride with media: Trump "sits in his jammies in Trump Tower and phones in!"

“I got sent down to the undercard debate by Fox News,” Christie complained to Sean Hannity last month. “I didn’t think it was fair. But I didn't whine and moan and complain and walk away. I went to the debate. I argued my points.

On his grand promises: “How? How?”

“He’s gonna build a wall and it’s gonna be an incredible, beautiful marvelous wall," Christie said of Trump's big campaign promise to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border while in New Hampshire in January, impersonating the blustery billionaire. "The wall is gonna be unbelievable. The wall is gonna have a door, the door is gonna open and close and good people come in, the bad people go out. It’s gonna be an amazing wall. It’s gonna be a beautiful wall—and the Mexicans are gonna pay for the wall because Trump says they’ll pay for the wall.”

“The core of my criticism of Mr. Trump is this,” Christie said. “How? How?”

Christie's critique of The Donald's grand plans continued. “When I become president the country is gonna get so wealthy, so amazingly wealthy and rich that we’re not gonna have to worry about Social Security,” Christie said, mocking Tump.

Then he turned semi-serious. “How? ... Bravado, by itself is not a plan.”

On Trump's claims of cheering Muslims in New Jersey on 9/11: "It didn't happen" 

“It didn’t happen and the fact is, people can say anything, but the facts are the facts, and that didn’t happen in New Jersey that day and hasn’t happened since,” Christie told reporters back in December after first saying in November "I don't recall that. I don't"

On his Muslim travel ban: "The kind of thing that people say when they have no experience"

Last December, Christie blasted Trump's controversial and unconstitutional temporary ban on all Muslims entering the U.S., calling it "ridiculous" and "the kind of thing that people say when they have no experience and don't know what they're talking about."

“The fact is we don't need to be profiling in order to be able to get the job done here,” Christie told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “What you need is a president who's had the experience and the know-how to do this and not someone who's just going to talk off the top of their head.”

Christie, of course, had only weeks before proudly boasted that he would have no qualms about turning away a 3-year-old Syrian orphan refugee.


By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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