When asked if he was “just to busy to campaign with Donald Trump,” Gov. Chris Christie (R) gave a lengthy, detailed response, which included the remark “I said I wasn’t gonna be a full-time surrogate for Donald Trump.”
“No, first off, he hasn’t asked for me to do it [campaign] in New York,” Christie initially responded just before leaving the Hoboken University Medical Center after touting the success of Narcan. “We talked about it. I talk to him regularly.”
“So, no: it’s a combination of me having a job to do here, which is first and foremost, secondly, I told you guys this is the way it happens all the time, he picks up the phone and calls me and says ‘Hey, I really need you to come to fill in the blank.’ If there’s anyway to go, I’ll go.”
Christie dropped out of the presidential race in early February (h/t New York Times) before endorsing Trump a couple of weeks later, per ABC News.
While campaigning for his own spot in the White House, Christie drew the ire of many top New Jersey Democrats and has since gotten the Saturday Night Live treatment for backing the Republican business tycoon.
After noting “I said that I wasn’t gonna be a full-time surrogate for Donald Trump,” Christie touched on why he found this situation particularly ironic.”
“I love you guys, I really do … in a strange, twisted way. Because when I’m out there campaigning for Trump, you’re writing ‘why is he out there campaigning for Trump, he’s got a job to do here, he should be at home.'”
“Alright, so now the last four weeks or so, I haven’t been campaigning for him. ‘Why isn’t he out there campaigning for Trump, why isn’t he out there helping him more, why isn’t he …’ it doesn’t matter. No matter what I do, you folks won’t be satisfied. There’s always some nefarious reason.”
After some more lighthearted cracking on the press, also bringing the state legislature into the fray, Christie explained that his wife, four children and the governorship all take precedent over helping Trump – who he says has been a friend for 14 years.
Christie added that it was Trump’s call to decide if he was “advising” him, noting that they talk often, and sometimes, he’s just there to listen.
“You’d have to ask him if I am advising him,” Christie, a fellow Republican, said. “The fact is we have conversations and he asks questions. … I give him (advice) if I have advice to give,” Christie explained.
“Sometimes I just listen,” Christie said. “Sometimes a candidate just needs someone who listens, who understands what they’re going through. I may not have anything to add to it. I may just say, ‘Yeah, that sucks.'”