Former President Donald Trump blasted back at Chris Christie after remarks the former New Jersey governor, and onetime Trump ally, made at a Republican conference saying it was time for the party to move past unproven claims of fraud in the 2020 election.
“Winning campaigns are always the campaigns that look forward, not backwards,” Christie told an assembly of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas on Sunday, adding that it is important for the GOP to focus on a “plan for tomorrow, not a grievance about yesterday.”
In an interview after his speech, Christie said he believes Trump’s role in the party going forward is “completely dependent upon the president’s own behavior.”
“If the president wants to talk about the future and spend most of his time talking about the future and what he sees next, then I’m sure that he’ll be a welcome voice in any kind of debate,” he said. “But if all we’re going to do is talk about grievance politics and put out statements saying either you reverse the 2020 election or Republicans shouldn’t vote in ’22 and ’24, I mean, that can’t be the leader of our party. It just can’t.”
Never one to take a perceived slight in stride, Trump issued a statement Monday lambasting Christie.
“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 wrote.
The former president derided Christie’s popularity, hinting that he famously left office with the lowest approval rating of any New Jersey governor, which a Quinnipiac Poll showed to be 15% in June 2017, as reported by Politico.
By year’s end, Insider reported that it had shrunk to 14% after he outraged residents by spending July Fourth weekend on a beach during a government shutdown that had closed all public beaches in the state.
But another connection between the two splashed across headlines Monday as well, when the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol issued subpoenas to six of Trump’s closest associates, including Bill Stepien, who ran the former president’s 2020 campaign after managing both of Christie’s successful gubernatorial bids.
However, Stepien was given the boot by Christie in the fallout caused by the Bridgegate scandal, after emails and texts from the campaign manager, who was dating Bridget Anne Kelly at the time, was some of the first evidence uncovered related to the traffic tie-up allegedly planned to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich.
This article contains material from The Associated Press.
Nicholas Katzban is a breaking news reporter for NorthJersey.com. To get breaking news directly to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter.
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This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Donald Trump continues election fraud claim, criticizes Chris Christie