From the first Morning Jolt of a busy week:
The Last Temptation of Christie
Here’s Meg Whitman, formerly one of Chris Christie’s biggest backers, denouncing him for jumping onto the Trump bandwagon:
“Chris Christie’s endorsement of Donald Trump is an astonishing display of political opportunism,” Ms. Whitman, who was a national finance co-chair of the Christie campaign, said in the statement.
“Donald Trump is unfit to be president,” Ms. Whitman said. “He is a dishonest demagogue who plays to our worst fears. Trump would take America on a dangerous journey. Christie knows all that and indicated as much many times publicly. The governor is mistaken if he believes he can now count on my support, and I call on Christie’s donors and supporters to reject the governor and Donald Trump outright. I believe they will. For some of us, principle and country still matter.”
CHRISTIE: Well, listen, I love Meg Whitman. She’s a great friend to me and to Mary Pat, always has been. We obviously, from that statement, have a difference of political opinion. And that’s OK. That’s what makes this country great is that people can have differences of political opinion. And so Meg has always been free to express her views and I honor her. And we absolutely adore our relationship with her and I’m sure it’ll continue.
Don’t be so sure, governor.
Here’s Christie struggling to defend Trump positions he denounced just a little while ago on the campaign trail on ABC News Sunday:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s talk about the policy in this campaign right now.
During your campaign, you ran as a straight-talking truth-teller, specific answers to America’s challenges. And here’s what you tried — you told voters to question Mr. Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: I tell everybody who goes to a Donald Trump event, if he gets asked a question, just ask him how. First, he says he’s going to build a wall across the entire border between the United States and Mexico. How? How is he going to make the Mexicans pay for the wall? How? They are a sovereign nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: You’re backing him now. What’s the answer?
CHRISTIE: The answer is he will do it —
CHRISTIE: — the fact — the fact is that he’s going to have to answer that question. And he will. You know, George, this is a February — this is February of a campaign. And let’s say this. You look at everybody else on that stage — and there have been many more specifics from a lot of other folks on that stage. And that was part of my argument during the campaign. But there I am, as somebody who’s —
STEPHANOPOULOS: Wait, wait a second. We’re eight months into this campaign. The wall has been his signature issue. He says it’s his go-to line whenever he needs applause. You’ve now had the Mexican president, two former Mexican presidents, the Mexican foreign minister in the Washington Post this morning, calls this a racist, ignorant, and absurd proposal. You know that Mexico’s not going to pay.
CHRISTIE: Well, listen, George, I’m — that’s — what would you expect Mexico to say? That’s of course what they’re going to say. And the —
STEPHANOPOULOS: How is Donald Trump going to force Mexico to pay?
CHRISTIE: Listen, I think that there is great ways to be able to use diplomacy and other tools to be able to come to compromise with nations that are both our neighbors and around the world. And we’re working on those things. And that’s what leadership does. Strong leadership is able to exert those things and be able to talk to folks about what advantages and disadvantages are of certain policies. The fact of the matter is that there won’t be any question about Mr. Trump’s strength and his resoluteness in terms of getting the things done that he’s wanted to get done. That’s what his whole career is —
STEPHANOPOULOS: But what’s the answer to the how? That’s the —
CHRISTIE: And this is the thing that I said. And he will answer that question. But you know, to me, I’m not answering the question for him this morning. That’s his — that’s the way he will answer it.
At least Christie is being treated well by his new . . . oh.