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Opinion Chris Christie and the Death of the Never Trump Republican

19:16  23 november  2021
19:16  23 november  2021 Source:   nymag.com

Chris Christie aims to shape future for GOP and for himself

  Chris Christie aims to shape future for GOP and for himself NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Christie is everywhere. The former New Jersey governor and onetime Republican presidential candidate denounced “conspiracy theorists” during a September appearance at the Ronald Reagan Library in California. He followed up with a speech this month to influential Republicans in Las Vegas, warning that the party will only succeed if it offers a "plan for tomorrow, not a grievance about yesterday.” In between, he's beenThe former New Jersey governor and onetime Republican presidential candidate denounced “conspiracy theorists” during a September appearance at the Ronald Reagan Library in California.

“Never Trump” was a label embraced by a handful of Republicans who deemed Donald Trump disqualified for office by some combination of his ignorance, his mendacity, his bigotry, and/or his authoritarianism. Almost no one still affiliated with the party or the conservative movement willingly uses the label any more. The label has largely been repurposed by Trump himself as an epithet against any Republican who dares utter criticism of him, however mild. “Never Trump” now serves essentially the same role in right-wing discourse as “Trotskyite” did in Stalin’s Russia — an all-purpose accusation of secret disloyalties, which must be fervently disavowed.

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Intelligencer; Photo: Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images © Intelligencer; Photo: Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images Intelligencer; Photo: Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In place of Never Trumpism, the Biden-era Republican party offers up figures like Chris Christie. Christie has put himself forward as the face of Republican resistance to Trump. But it is a form of “resistance” so tepid as to become almost indistinguishable from support.

Christie grabbed headlines by declaring he might run for president, and — unlike other contenders, who have implicitly or explicitly conditioned their candidacies on Mr. Trump not running — he announced he wouldn’t wait for Trump’s permission. Christie has lambasted Trump for continuing to claim he legitimately won the 2020 election. But he has restricted his criticism to the exceedingly narrow ground that voters are simply tired of hearing about the past: “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.”

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  Could Donald Trump Beat Chris Christie in 2024? What Polls Say About Potential GOP Rivals Both Christie and Trump have been teasing 2024 presidential runs and the former New Jersey governor criticized Trump for losing in 2020 to President Joe Biden.Christie was among the first to endorse Trump when he ran for president in 2016, but the two have since gone from being strong allies to trading jabs. Neither man has committed to making a presidential run in 2024, but Christie has said he felt that Trump may not be the right man for the job and he won't back down from mounting his own campaign just because the former president decides to throw his hat into the ring.

This is the perfect distillation of Establishment Republican thinking on this issue. They don’t want to dispute Trump’s election lies; they just want to drop the question. Trump, of course, has no intention of dropping the argument, which is why he’s winning it: He is making a case that Biden stole the election, and hardly anybody in his party is willing to contradict him. (Indeed, Republicans are actively muzzling Liz Cheney precisely because she insists on refuting Trump’s election lie.)

In an interview last night with Laura Ingraham, who spoke at Trump’s 2020 nominating convention, Christie assured the Fox News audience that he had no disagreement in principle with the party’s leader. He agreed that Democrats cheated in 2020 — “We know what happened in 2020, in instances where the voting laws were changed improperly” — and heartily endorsed state-level voting restrictions as an appropriate, forward-looking response.

Chris Christie Touts 'Talent' to Be President, Undaunted by Trump Hinting at 2024 Run

  Chris Christie Touts 'Talent' to Be President, Undaunted by Trump Hinting at 2024 Run The former Republican governor of New Jersey said he's "not ready to retire."Christie touted his credentials and potential presidential ambitions in remarks to the Associated Press published on Saturday. The former New Jersey Republican governor, who led the Garden State from 2010 to 2018, made his pitch despite former President Donald Trump repeatedly hinting that he will seek another term in 2024.

Prodded further by Ingraham, he conceded that his disagreements with Trump were limited to matters of style and personality and that he fully supported Trump’s substantive positions. “Laura,” he announced grandly, “the line of supporting Donald Trump starts behind me!”

Trump appealed to the Republican base, despite his many apostasies, because he promised to crush their enemies. His attack on the Republican leadership was, and is, ideologically incoherent — they are too conservative or too moderate, too hawkish or too dovish, unable to pass a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill or shamefully willing to do just that — but characterologically consistent. The other Republicans are timid and weak. He is ruthless and strong.

Trump’s supporters see the party as riven along the same lines: not left versus right, but weak versus strong. When conservative pundits Jonah Golderg and Stephen Hayes quit Fox News over Tucker Carlson’s weeklong orgy of paranoid January 6 revisionism, an American Spectator columnist assailed them for lacking the guts to get their hands dirty in the fight: “There’s a certain brand of weak-sauce conservative pundit, many of whom have populated the airwaves of cable news channels and other corporate media venues, which depends for its sustenance on remaining ‘acceptable’ to those who are not conservatives … Let’s hope that somebody is less ‘acceptable’ and more willing to accurately assess the state of America brought on by two decades of weak-sauce conservatism’s constant retreating.”

The “weak-sauce conservatism” of Goldberg and Hayes is extremely conservative. What makes it weak is its unwillingness to undermine the voting process through chaos and violence.

Supporting Trump is fundamentally a choice between being willing to abide the rules of the democratic game and doing whatever it takes to gain power. Christie is trying to elide the choice. But in so doing, he is revealing the same weakness of character that Trump used to discredit the Republican alternatives. When the choice comes again between democracy and power, they will choose power.

Trump admitted to Chris Christie that he leaked their conversation about a chief-of-staff job to the media because 'it was a great story': book .
Christie rejected the offer but told Trump he'd put out a statement saying he withdrew from consideration to spare the president any embarrassment.Christie wrote in his memoir that he met with Trump at the White House in December 2018 to discuss the offer. Just about an hour later, as he was on the train ride back to New Jersey, Axios reporter Jonathan Swan had already reported on their conversation, citing a "source familiar with the president's thinking.

usr: 4
This is interesting!