Christie says the only way to defeat Trump is head on: ‘There’s only one lane’
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who is mulling a potential bid for the White House, said on Sunday that GOP contenders will need to “go through” former President Trump if they want to be the Republican nominee in 2024.
“There’s one lane. And that one lane, Donald Trump’s at the head of. So, if you want to be the nominee, you got to go through Donald Trump. I don’t think there’s any other way to do it,” Christie said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“Until there is a campaign engaged, Trump is untouchable. By definition, as you know, a candidate is untouchable until they’re touched and you see what the reaction is to being touched, and that will happen in this race,” he said. “There’s no question in my mind that he will be attacked directly.”
Christie also said that there has been a media “vacuum” surrounding the civil trial involving claims by author E. Jean Carroll that Trump raped her. He said that Trump has not been a “presence anywhere in the media,” noting that he did not show up to the trial because he did not want to answer questions.
“He didn’t show up because he didn’t want to answer those questions,” Christie said. “At some point, you’ve got to answer the questions if you’re a candidate. And he’s going to have to answer them. And then the numbers will look different, I suspect.”
Carroll in 2019 accused Trump of raping her in a department store fitting room in the mid-1990s. She is now suing the former president, alleging sexual battery as well as defamation over a 2022 post on Truth Social in which he denied her allegations and criticized Carroll’s appearance.
The jury last week was shown footage from the former president’s deposition recorded last year. Trump’s legal team also said last week that he will not be testifying at the trial.
Christie has been a staunch critic of Trump as he considers a potential primary challenge to the former president. He said in an interview last month that he is the “viable Trump alternative,” reiterating that he believes the Republicans will lose the election if Trump is the party’s nominee.
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