Political Editors / Feb. 27, 2016

Christie's Endorsement of Trump Is an About-Face

He was right before, and cravenly opportunistic now.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed Donald Trump Friday, completing the meltdown of his presidential bid but saving Trump from a terrible debate. It’s an obvious ploy for a spot in a Trump administration — if not as The Donald’s VP he could be attorney general. Christie, a former federal prosecutor, is a bulldog and will be a helpful surrogate, especially against Marco Rubio, whom he wounded in a previous debate. Christie’s endorsement also brings the story full circle because he’s the first “establishment” Republican to officially endorse Trump. The casino mogul has risen to be the frontrunner on the power of his standing as an “outsider,” but he’s the ultimate insider, making deals wherever it benefits him most. Christie supports Planned Parenthood and is not the best friend of the Second Amendment, so it’s no surprise to see him endorse a man who shares those views.

But just for fun, here are a few times Christie previously hammered Trump:

In July, when Trump was running around talking about making the Mexicans pay for the wall, Christie dismissed the idea: “It’s not going to happen. It’s the wrong message to send, and it’s not going to be effective. Always beware of the candidate for public office who has the quick and easy answer to a complicated problem.”

In August, Christie said, “I just don’t think that he’s suited to be president of the United States. I don’t think his temperament is suited for that and I don’t think his experience is.”

In September, he said, “Donald Trump’s got to decide … how serious a candidate he wants to be, and how he handles different problems … [is] going to determine that in the eyes of the American people.”

In December, he echoed the same point, saying, “The fact is we don’t need to be profiling in order to be able to get the job done here. What you need is a president who’s had the experience and the know-how to do this and not someone who’s just going to talk off the top of their head.”

The same month, he also got more specific: “We do not need reality TV in the Oval Office right now. President of the United States is not a place for an entertainer.”

In January, when Trump threw a tantrum and skipped the Fox News debate before Iowa, Christie said Trump was acting like a “13-year-old.” He wondered, “What’s that tell you about what we can expect if things go sideways when you go into the Oval Office? What are you going to do? Go upstairs to the residence and say, ‘I’m not playing’? You know, ‘Vladimir Putin isn’t being nice to me, I’m not going to return his call’? ‘The press isn’t being nice to me, I’m not going to hold any more press conferences’?”

Christie was right then, and he’s being cravenly opportunistic now.

In related news, Trump was endorsed by Sen. Jeff Sessions Saturday, a sign that perception of Trump’s strength on immigration trumps the fact that he hired illegals for “jobs Americans won’t do.”

Meanwhile, Trump refused three times to reject the endorsement of former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, saying, “I don’t know anything about” him. That’s a lie. He certainly knew about Duke in 2000, when he left the Reform Party because of him. Now that Trump’s trying to win the Republican nomination, however, he can’t be bothered to stand for principle.

Maybe that’s all why Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, a real conservative, announced over the weekend that he will not vote for Trump if he’s the nominee. He won’t be the last.

(Updated.)

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