Chris Christie, after withdrawing from the GOP primary race, was overheard on a hot mic disparaging his Republican rivals, Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Gov. Nikki Haley, regarding their chances against former President Donald Trump. The comments were captured during a conversation with someone identified as “Wayne,” highlighting Christie’s perception of his own campaign and his views on the political landscape.
In the conversation, Christie expressed a sense of confidence in his own position, despite his campaign’s challenges. He reflected on his efforts, suggesting that he had been clear and direct in his approach, and worked hard despite the eventual outcome. He then shifted focus to his competitors, specifically discussing the campaign expenditures of DeSantis and Haley compared to his own.
Christie pointed out that Haley had spent $68 million, while DeSantis had invested $59 million, compared to his $12 million. He questioned their return on investment, suggesting they were not achieving the desired impact despite their substantial spending. His tone suggested skepticism about Haley’s capabilities, predicting that she would be “smoked” in the race and doubting her readiness for the challenges ahead.
The conversation then touched on the polling situation in New Hampshire, where Haley reportedly trailed Trump by a significant margin. Wayne’s query about whether DeSantis would continue in the race prompted Christie to reveal that DeSantis had called him, expressing concerns about Christie’s potential decision to stay in or leave the race. Christie’s description of DeSantis as “petrified” hinted at perceived vulnerabilities in the Florida governor’s campaign.
Christie’s candid remarks provided a glimpse into the internal dynamics of the GOP primary and the perception of Trump’s strong standing in the race. His comments about Haley and DeSantis suggested a belief that neither candidate was fully equipped to take on Trump effectively.
Chris Christie is caught on a hot mic ahead of his expected announcement that he's dropping out of the presidential race:
He says Nikki Haley is "gonna get smoked" and a "petrified" Ron DeSantis called him. pic.twitter.com/fGOFEtVDHn
— The Recount (@therecount) January 10, 2024
The incident may inadvertently affect the perceptions of DeSantis and Haley among voters and within the Republican Party, as Christie’s withdrawal from the race reshapes the primary contest. As a former strong critic of Trump, Christie’s exit and his parting remarks add another layer to the complex narrative of the 2024 GOP primary.