New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is griping about not getting his fair share of questions during the first Republican presidential debate. And if it happens again on Sept. 16, the governor joked that he may just have to “go nuclear.”
Christie -- who is pulling single-digit support in national polls -- made the remarks during an appearance on NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Monday.
Fallon recounted watching the last debate in Cleveland and waiting for Christie -- on stage with nine other candidates -- to speak. “Me too,” the governor interjected, noting at one point that the moderators asked 20 questions in a row without calling on him.
The comedian then asked Christie -- known for his bold personality -- why he didn’t just jump in and interrupt. “You’re not supposed to but a few people did. I didn’t feel it was appropriate for that night,” said Christie, who added, “Stay tuned -- we may be changing tactics.” The governor then joked that viewers should be ready for him to “go nuclear now” if 15 questions go by at the next debate in Simi Valley, California, and he doesn’t get called on.
Monday night marked Christie’s first time on the show since officially announcing he was running for president. A 2014 visit featured Christie busting a move in a segment called “The Evolution of Dad Dancing,” which went viral. During an appearance in April, Christie laughed off several jokes Fallon made about his weight.
There was no dancing this time around (although Christie briefly lip-synced to Bruce Springsteen’s "Born in The USA"). But Fallon did poke fun at Christie’s size again when the governor recounted 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney inviting Christie and rival Florida Sen. Marco Rubio -- and their families -- to stay at his Wolfebore, New Hampshire, property over the summer. At one point, they all went for a boat ride and Romney suggested they get ice cream, to which Christie remembered saying “okay.” Fallon jumped in, “You weren’t like ‘alright,’” Fallon joked. “You were like ‘Yeah hooo!’”
The governor then pretended to be angry and walked off the stage. When he came back, Christie told Fallon that if he ever leaves public life, the funnyman would have to hire two more writers to make up for the “garbage you write about me.”
Throughout the segment, Christie tried to turn the tables on Fallon, ribbing the host for mentioning he has a home in the ritzy Hamptons in addition to recently injuring his ring finger and chipping his tooth. “You don’t have a jet ski in the Hamptons, Jimmy?” the governor asked. On Fallon’s injuries, Christie jabbed, “What do you think, you’re like 12?” and joked that Fallon’s wife thinks, ‘thank God he’s rich.’”
The interview struck a serious tone when Christie discussed his current standing in addition to GOP front-runner Donald Trump. The governor, who noted there are still over five months before anyone casts a vote, said “It’s a long ways away. There’s a lot of work to do. That’s what campaigns are about ... I’m not worried about Donald or anyone else.”