Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump takes questions, alongside New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, left, during a campaign press event in Palm Beach, Fla., on March 01, 2016.
Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty

After days of silence, Christie speaks up on latest Trump scandal

About a year and a half ago, after the shooting massacre at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, a heated political debate ensued over the official display of the Confederate battle flag. Facing pressure and media inquiries, all kinds of politicians – in South Carolina, but also across the country – weighed in with their perspective.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was getting ready to launch his ill-fated presidential campaign, preferred silence. While other GOP White House candidates felt compelled to say something, Christie took his sweet time, watching what others did before raising his head.

As the Daily Beast reported at the time, “[A]fter the entire Republican primary field – including Donald Trump and George Pataki – had taken a position on the Confederate flag, and after the Republican governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, had asked for its removal from the state capitol grounds, Chris Christie seemed to calculate that it was politically safe to do the same.”

Sixteen months later, Christie has again blown his chances of winning a Profile in Courage Award.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he was “really disturbed” by the predatory comments Donald Trump made about women a decade ago, but he is still supporting the Republican nominee for president.

Christie had been mum on the matter since the video was released late last week, but broke his silence Tuesday as he co-hosted WFAN’s “Boomer & Carton” sports radio show with Craig Carton.
The political world erupted on Friday afternoon when the audio emerged of Trump’s 2005 comments on sexual assault, prompting dozens of Republicans to reject his candidacy. The uproar continued on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

And now that just about everyone has had something to say about the matter, New Jersey’s governor, a leading Trump campaign surrogate, has decided it’s finally safe to let the public know how upset he is. “It’s completely indefensible and I won’t defend it and haven’t defended it,” Christie said. “That kind of talk and conversation even in private is just unacceptable.”

The governor, who was apparently with Trump when the story broke, added, “I’m really upset about what I heard but in the end this election is about bigger issues than that. I’m still supporting Donald. Obviously I was disappointed by what happened, and disappointed in some respects by the response initially, but I am still supporting him.”

How Christie reconciles these competing ideas is a story unto itself, but I’d also love to know what took the governor so long to speak up.

Chris Christie and Donald Trump

After days of silence, Christie speaks up on latest Trump scandal