Let me start by saying, yes, it's a good thing that Chris Christie is saying these things. Any attempt by Republicans to hold Trump accountable is laudable, even if it's by someone whose lips were so recently SuperGlued to Trump's Rubenesque rump.
But yeah, it's pathetic that he can't bring himself to call him out by name, and New Day's anchors are right to ridicule him.
"Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie taking a shot at his one-time ally, Donald Trump, last night. At the Ronald Reagan library in Southern California, Christie urged Republicans to embrace truth and reject lies and conspiracies," Brianna Keilar said.
"It's pretty remarkable. I guess Chris Christie had such promise for Republicans, right? Back in 2016, everybody thought, oh, he's going to be the standard bearer and obviously he got crushed by Donald Trump and ultimately joined the Trump team. I mean, so many of the people that used to work for Chris Christie folded themselves into the Trump administration, are still working for Donald Trump now. He clearly doesn't want to be out of the game but he decided he certainly can't compete with Trump on Trump's terms. I think it's good for the country that somebody is saying this, right? But we don't have any evidence that the Republican base is willing to listen to it yet," Kasie Hunt said.
"Can I quote 'American Pie,' though? Say his name, Chris Christie," John Berman taunted. "Say his name. What's with dancing around it? If you want to take a courageous stand, say his name. It's three syllables long. Case in point, i have another bit of sound for you."
"'That's not who I am. But I won't say his name. I'm not scared. Except saying the name out loud.'"
Berman asked Hunt, "What's the Chris Christie caucus right now inside the Republican party besides Chris Christie and maybe Pat?"
"Chris Christie, Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, I think that's it right now. Clearly, we think Liz Cheney is running for president in 2024. She certainly hasn't ruled it out. Based on that speech, clearly Christie wants to be part of the conversation, too. But as you point out, this is exactly the problem. If they come out and say the name, they end up a target. I mean, look at what Cheney is dealing with now. She is continuing to push ahead, saying bring it in response to what the former president is doing here. But again, she is actually going to have to prove it in an election.
"Christie doesn't have that same challenge, but so far no one in a safe Republican area has been able to pull this off. And that obviously is what a Republican presidential primary is. So, I mean, the Republican -- and I actually was looking at what was behind Chris Christie there in that speech. There was a statement that said 'A time for choosing.' There you go, that's the campaign slogan right there," Hunt said.
She said it made sense, but so far no Republican has succeeded.
"So i think, again, praise for saying, hey, we got to focus on the truth. The truth matters. We as a country need to focus on that. This is a problem all based on this lie that the former president saying that he won an election that he actually lost. But again, right now they're listening to him and not to Christie, Cheney or Kinzinger or anyone else willing to step up."
"Maybe the time for choosing was during debate prep. I'm just saying," Keilar quipped.
(Sigh. Just want to say that I cringed when I first heard that CNN was bringing on Kasie Hunt, because she is exactly the kind of reporter that hurts journalism. She's ambitious, people like her, she loves the inside game, she always makes these pronouncements that aren't backed up by anything solid (Liz Cheney running for president? Based on what, other than Republican gossip?) and she's been wrong more times than I can count. I advise you to take most of what she says with a large piece of salt.)
This one's for Chris: