Christie blasts Trump, says he ‘doesn’t care about anybody other than himself’

WASHINGTON — Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called former President Donald Trump a “self-centered, self-possessed, self-consumed, angry old man” in a recent interview, as Christie and the crowded field of 2024 Republican presidential hopefuls gear up for their first debate.

Christie has stood out from other 2024 GOP candidates as the most vocal critic of Trump, regularly bashing the former president on the campaign trail for his legal battles, policy priorities and more.

Christie in an interview with CBS News’ Robert Costa that aired on Sunday said Trump ”doesn’t care about anyone else other than him.”

“And if he were ever to become president again, I’ll take him at his word. He said, ‘I am your retribution.’Well, he’s not our retribution, Bob. He will be his own retribution,” Christie added.

The former New Jersey governor once supported Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, and even became his right-hand man. But the breaking point, Christie told Costa, came on the night of the 2020 election when Trump falsely claimed that he won.

“I, at that time, I had a relationship with him for 15 years. And I wanted to make him the best candidate, and if he won, the best president he could be. And I make no apologies for that. And I did the very best I could for four years,” Christie said. “And he failed me, and he failed the country.”

Christie said Trump ‘violated his oath’ after 2020 election

After Trump was indicted last week on charges that he tried to steal the 2020 presidential election, Christie wrote on X that “the events around the White House from election night forward are a stain on our country’s history & a disgrace to the people who participated.”

“This disgrace falls the most on Donald Trump,” Christie said. “He swore an oath to the Constitution, violated his oath & brought shame to his presidency.”

Trump was charged with a conspiracy to obstruct a congressional proceeding on Jan. 6, 2021, as the results of the 2020 election were to be certified.

Christie previously told USA TODAY that Trump was responsible for the deadly attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and he called Trump a “coward” for telling his supporters in a speech at the Ellipse, a park near the White House, that he would march to the Capitol with them but never joining in.

Christie calls on Trump to show up for the first GOP debate

Christie told Costa that if Trump doesn’t show up to the first GOP debate on Aug. 23, he is a “coward.”

“Either way, I’ll be there telling the truth for 90 minutes,” Christie wrote on X. “Because the truth matters.”

Trump became one of the first candidates to qualify for the debate stage under the RNC’s rules. However, the former president suggested to Fox News host Bret Baier in June that he didn’t want to spar with low-polling candidates.

“They’re all very low,” Trump said. “So why would I allow people at one or two percent, at zero percent, to be hitting me with questions all night? You know, I don’t think it’s fair.”

When asked whether Trump would elevate the rest of the field by showing up, Christie told Costa that he’s “never seen Donald Trump elevate anything except for the ego factor.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Chris Christie blasts Donald Trump before GOP debate: ‘Angry old man’

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