The long and tortured relationship between Chris Christie and Donald Trump—which has seen the former New Jersey governor repeatedly crawling back to the president despite some very public burns—has produced another wrinkle. On Thursday, Wall Street Journal reporter Leslie Brody spotted Christie at Newark Airport, where he refused to say whether he was voting for Trump.
“I haven’t voted yet,” he said instead. Pressed once more, Christie dodged.
Bumped into former NJ @GovChristie at Newark airport just now. Who are you voting for, I asked. “I haven’t voted yet” he says. ‘’But really, who are you voting for?’’ I asked. “I haven’t voted yet” he repeats. @pdberger @jdeavila @KCarliniKing pic.twitter.com/Y75CZHkJIK
— Leslie Brody (@lesliebrody) October 29, 2020
The sudden demurral follows a whiplash month for Christie. After leading a debate prep session with Trump and appearing at the super-spreading White House event celebrating Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination, Christie was hospitalized with COVID, the most serious case of the illness among the myriad Trump allies who contracted it in the wake of the Barrett event. Soon after his release, Christie admitted that he had been “wrong” to not wear a mask at the ceremony, though he declined to directly criticize Trump. In an op-ed last week, Christie repeated his regret from going maskless. “The message will be broadly heeded only if it is consistently and honestly delivered by the media, religious leaders, sports figures, and public servants,” Christie wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “Those in positions of authority have a duty to get the message out.” Again, he failed to directly hold Trump responsible for his deadly coronavirus denial.
Ever the shrewd politician, Christie—in both refusing to condemn Trump and suddenly hinting at a potential break with the president—appears to be attempting to have it both ways. Either way, it’s embarrassing.