New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knocked Hillary Clinton’s campaign kickoff speech during an interview Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
“Listen, first off, I thought that Elizabeth Warren wasn’t running for president. But when I listened to Hillary yesterday, it sounds like liberal political consultants put together that speech,” Christie told host George Stephanopoulos.
Clinton struck a populist chord Saturday in a speech on Roosevelt Island in New York City, focusing on the middle class, universal pre-kindergarten, paid sick and family leave, tax reform and expanding clean energy. The speech served as the official launch of Clinton’s campaign after the former secretary of state has spent the past two months holding smaller events in early voting states.
Christie, though, questioned how Clinton could empathize with the issues everyday Americans face.
“Mrs. Clinton doesn’t hear from anybody,” Christie said. “She doesn’t talk to anybody. She doesn’t take questions from anybody. How would she know what real Americans are really concerned about?”
Clinton has faced some criticism for her campaign’s limited press access and reliance on hand-picked voters in events during the lead-up to Saturday’s big speech.
Christie said he will announce sometime in June whether he will seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. The New Jersey governor has been making the rounds to early voting states to test the waters – he has traveled to New Hampshire nine times so far this year. And last week he had events in Iowa.
Asked why he hasn’t already made his candidacy official, Christie pointed to his “day job,” adding, “I’m no wallflower. I’ll let folks know what I’m going to be.”
If Christie decides to jump in the race, he would join an already crowded Republican field. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is expected to announce his candidacy on Monday. Christie contrasted himself with Bush by saying that unlike the former Florida governor, he is “combat-ready for Washington, D.C., and you need to be in order to know how to work with people, how to bring people together.”
Christie also addressed another Republican who could announce a campaign this week – Donald Trump.
“Do you think he’ll be a serious candidate for president if he runs?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“Listen, Donald is a serious guy, and he’s been a good friend of mine over the years, and only Donald is going to be able to determine whether he wants to really be a candidate.”
Christie concluded with his signature brash tone: “If I decide to get into this race … I’ll take anybody on.”