Friday shocker: Christie backs Trump (with reactions)
By Evan Lips | February 26, 2016, 13:05 EST
FORT WORTH, TEXAS — New Jersey Gov. Christie, whose own presidential ambitions were endorsed by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker days before the Garden State politician bowed out of the race, announced at a surprise press conference Friday that he’s backing Manhattan real estate mogul Donald Trump.
Christie’s announcement came the morning after Thursday night’s fierce GOP presidential debate in Houston and just days ahead of the all-important “Super Tuesday” 12-state Republican primary bonanza.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 26, 2016
Christie’s announcement also made waves across Massachusetts’ political landscape:
Governor Charlie Baker endorsed Chris Christie and now Chris Christie endorses Donald J. Trump. I wonder how the establishment feels. — Charles Grillo, Jr. (@Charles_Grillo) February 26, 2016
Charlie Baker endorsed Chris Christie. Now puts the Massachusetts governor in a very awkward position.
— Matt Viser (@mviser) February 26, 2016
People close to Baker say they were not informed ahead of time that Christie was going to endorse Trump. — Garrett Quinn (@GarrettQuinn) February 26, 2016
Earlier this month, when asked to comment on a vulgarity Trump directed at rival candidate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz during a rally, Baker doubled-down on his reasons for backing Christie.
“Did he really? Did he really say that?” Baker said about Trump. “Look, I made very clear last week when I endorsed Governor Christie that part of the reason I endorsed him was that I didn’t think that Donald Trump had the temperament or the seriousness of purpose to be president of the United States, and that comment would certainly fit quite well in that particular category.”
As for Christie, various media outlets were quick to rehash instances during his own presidential campaign in which he mocked Trump’s policies.
Here is audio of Chris Christie doing an impersonation of Donald Trump in New Hampshire https://t.co/rpBTCnUn9h
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) February 26, 2016
Chris Christie on border wall in July: “it’s not going to happen” https://t.co/J0lGov4dND
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) February 26, 2016
Christie just endorsed Trump. A few weeks ago, he said Trump had no experience and would hand the race to Democrats. https://t.co/RA1813mhUy
— Evan Lips (@evanmlips) February 26, 2016
in numerous interviews w me Christie scoffed and mocked Trump for knowing nothing about for policy
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) February 26, 2016
Others pointed out instances in which Trump lobbed criticisms at Christie:
How is Chris Christie running the state of NJ, which is deeply troubled, when he is spending all of his time in NH? New Jerseyans not happy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2015
As Tuesday wore on, reaction posts on social media piled up as well, including one zinger dropped by the former chief strategist for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who suspended his campaign earlier this month following a disastrous performance in the South Carolina primary:
New lesson kids: sometimes, the best option for the fat kid is to just hand his lunch money over to the bully! #TrumpChristie2016
— David Kochel (@ddkochel) February 26, 2016
— The Federalist (@FDRLST) February 26, 2016
Other “splashes” from Friday’s announcement included a continuation of Trump’s Thursday night harangue of rival candidate, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. During a rally held immediately following his announcement with Christie, Trump mocked Rubio’s 2013 post-State of the Union water bottle gaffe:
— CNN (@CNN) February 26, 2016
Todd Harris, one of Rubio’s campaign advisers, later released a statement labeling Trump’s “get” of Christie as an example of someone needing an “articulate guy” who can explain his ideas.
— Ines de La Cuetara (@InesdLC) February 26, 2016
Earlier on Friday, Rubio mocked Trump over a series of misspelled “mean” tweets.
— Alysha Love (@News_with_Love) February 26, 2016
Trump later deleted his misspelled diatribes, an action that did not go ignored:
Trump just deleted every single one of his misspelled tweets calling Rubio a "chocker" and spelling honor "honer"
— Gabby Morrongiello (@gabriellahope_) February 26, 2016
(Check back later today for updates)