Former New Jersey governor told a gathering of influential GOP donors that Republican candidates can’t afford to religitate Donald Trump’s defeat
Mr Trump, whose baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 election incited a mob to perpetrate the worst attack on the US Capitol since Major-General Robert Ross ordered it burned in 1814, has continued to lie about the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s victory despite having lost over 60 separate court cases intended to overturn the results.
But Mr Christie — an unsuccessful 2016 presidential candidate who has hinted at a future return to electoral politics — said continuing to talk about the 2020 election as the 2022 midterms and 2024 presidential election draw closer is a waste of time.
“We can no longer talk about the past and the past elections — no matter where you stand on that issue, no matter where you stand, it is over,” Mr Christie said while speaking to attendees at a Republican Jewish Coalition conference in Las Vegas. “Every minute that we spend talking about 2020 — while we’re wasting time doing that, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are laying ruin to this country — we better focus on that and take our eyes off the rearview mirror and start looking through the windshield again”.
Mr Christie, who briefly led Mr Trump’s 2016 transition effort before Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner engineered his ouster because Mr Christie’s previous work as a federal prosecutor sent his father to federal prison, instead suggested that Republican candidates will get more mileage from a more positive, less grating message going forward.
Not employing such a strategy, he warned, will alienate the suburban swing voters who helped Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin defeat former governor Terry McAuliffe in last week’s gubernatorial contest.
“People want us to be direct with them. They want someone to fight for them. But they want them to fight in a way that doesn’t hurt their ears,” he said. “We have to speak to their dreams, their hopes, their aspirations for the future. If we don’t do that, then we won’t once again win back the votes that we began to win back in Virginia and New Jersey last Tuesday night”.