MANCHESTER, New Hampshire – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie hasn’t officially jumped into the 2016 presidential race, but he signaled Wednesday he isn’t afraid of jabbing a potential competitor, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Christie made his most blatant criticism of Bush yet when asked by conservative radio host Laura Ingraham if he agreed with his fellow moderate’s record.
“Well, I’d like to see what Jeb Bush is going to have to say about these things, you know. I mean, he’s certainly got a father and a brother who have a record, and I don’t know what Jeb Bush is going to say about foreign policy,” said Christie.“The one speech that he’s given so far, I thought was rather general, didn’t really give a great insight into what he wanted to do. Let’s see what he’s got to say for himself. In the end, his record and more importantly his vision for what the future is going to determine how credible of a candidate he is. If I decide to run for president, you can conclude that it’s because I believe that I’d be a better candidate for our party and a better president than Jeb Bush or anybody else who decided to run,” he added.
A spokeswoman for Bush did not immediately return requests for comment.
Christie, who has been criticized for his own lack of foreign policy experience, was asked about several global issues at a town hall Wednesday in Londonderry. When questioned about President Obama’s moves to normalize relations with Cuba, Christie said it is a “national disgrace that the president is engaged of that kind of conduct. He should be ashamed of himself.” Christie also was asked about the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran over that country’s nuclear program and suggested the president should have the “guts to walk away from a bad deal.”
Christie, who has fallen to the back of the pack of emerging Republican presidential hopefuls, has been in New Hampshire this week – seemingly trying to push the 2016 reset button. He has been hosting restaurant meet and greets, and delivered a speech on entitlement reform on Tuesday. On Friday, Christie has another town hall scheduled at a bar in Exeter.
The Garden State governor will likely rub elbows with Bush – along with other would-be Republican presidential contenders– this weekend at the “First in the Nation” GOP summit in Nashua.