Video: Christie vows to stay in race even if Rubio beats him

posted at 9:21 am on February 4, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

If one needs a metric for the biggest boost coming from the Iowa caucuses, look no further. Chris Christie told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he won’t get out of the race even if Marco Rubio beats him in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday. Donald Trump’s preparing to lap Christie twice over at least, Ted Cruz has been ahead of Christie for weeks, but suddenly Christie feels it necessary to defend himself against the man riding the biggest wave out of Des Moines:


ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Gov. Chris Christie says Marco Rubio doesn’t have the experience to be president, and that he won’t drop out of the race even if the Florida senator beats him.

“He just doesn’t have any experience. All he has is experience of being a legislator,” Christie said on “Good Morning America” today. “We’ve tried that as a party and as a country and it doesn’t work.”

Christie’s argument centers around Rubio’s age – 44 – and that he is not a strong enough candidate to take on Hillary Clinton in the general election if she wins the Democratic nomination.

“We need to make sure we nominate someone who not only can beat Hillary Clinton but also can manage the government and get it back on the right track once they’re elected president of the United States,” Christie, 53, argued. “No need to take those chances on someone who’s never managed anything larger than a 30-person senate staff.”

As metrics go, the Rubio Line might not be a bad one to apply — but not for the reason Christie thinks. If a two-term governor can’t defeat a one-term Senator whom Christie says has so little to offer in this race, then why should that not be a signal that the governor has even less chance of beating Hillary Clinton than Rubio? That might be a question not just for Christie, but also Jeb Bush and John Kasich as well, all of whom are running on their executive experience — and all of whom have occupied the second tier for months on that argument.

This is what has Christie, Bush, and Kasich worried:

Trump’s still soaring, and Rubio’s still really caught in a virtual tie with Cruz for second place. However, the three men running on their executive experience are fading into single digits in the one state they thought their resumé would prove effective. Oops!

Under normal circumstances, Christie’s argument would have an impact. Normally, voters want executive experience in presidential nominees. But the electorate has transformed into an anti-establishment populist force, an evolution over the past decade, one that got the present President into office. Voters don’t trust institutions any longer; they want agents of change to transform them, or better yet, tear them down and build them over again. Two-term governors such as Christie are seen as part of that establishment. Voters want to believe in someone more than they want a transactional experience in voting. This attack by the gubernatorial triumvirate on Rubio couldn’t be more tone-deaf if they tried — and it almost appears as if they are trying to sound out of touch.

Besides, Christie’s argument doesn’t even apply best to Christie. He took office in New Jersey as a moderately pro-choice, pro-gun-control governor with a tough attitude towards public-employee unions, only embracing “full-throated conservatism” in the context of running for the GOP nomination. For conservatives looking to get the federal government “on the right track” through experience in conservative governance, the actual choice between the three governors based on track records would be Jeb Bush, not Christie or John Kasich. Christie would likely be more electable than the other two governors in a general election … but if electability’s the key, then Rubio will be the better choice of the two. By far.

Let’s put Christie’s assertion here to the test. If he finishes behind Marco Rubio and Donald Trump, and presumably Ted Cruz, then where exactly is Christie’s path to the nomination? South Carolina? Virginia? Texas? A fourth-place finish in New Hampshire will be the end of Christie’s campaign, whether he admits it or not.

Addendum: On the other hand, perhaps Rubio should vet his surrogates a little better to avoid giving openings to his opponents. Yikes.


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Comments

Membership in the Establishment comes with great arrogance.

ConstantineXI on February 4, 2016 at 9:22 AM

Human bubble calls Rubio “boy in the bubble”. RINO fight ensues.
News at *yawn* 11.

Mark Boabaca on February 4, 2016 at 9:24 AM

Handwriting…wall….

When you can’t read it, you have problems.

ProfShadow on February 4, 2016 at 9:25 AM

Fatso needs to drop out ASAP…

OmahaConservative on February 4, 2016 at 9:27 AM

Christie is YUGE – of ego and girth.

vnvet on February 4, 2016 at 9:27 AM

Beat El Ocho!

Oil Can on February 4, 2016 at 9:30 AM

GO JEB!

Destroy the upstart traitor!

Rogue on February 4, 2016 at 9:32 AM

cruz iowa cheating carson explained

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocgEmgXXwF8

gerrym51 on February 4, 2016 at 9:33 AM

Yeah, Santorum bombed this am

cmsinaz on February 4, 2016 at 9:34 AM

+1 profshadow

cmsinaz on February 4, 2016 at 9:35 AM

You have to believe at this point that it’s vanity and pride that’s keeping Krispy in.

He’s got no chance for the nomination.

If Trump wins, he won’t be another Joisey boy on the ticket.

Maybe he thinks if Cruz or Rubito win they’ll bring him along for ballast.

Younggod on February 4, 2016 at 9:37 AM

Yeah, Santorum bombed this am

cmsinaz on February 4, 2016 at 9:34 AM

Yeah, that clip was brutal. But it’s a must see. This is the line of attack that needs to be used by everyone opposing Rubio. Yes, go after him on amnesty, but nail him as a Republican Obama. That’ll kill his surge before it ever materializes.

Doughboy on February 4, 2016 at 9:39 AM

NYT hitting Rubio also:

Gail Collins

A short but sharp recommended read…

mjbrooks3 on February 4, 2016 at 9:39 AM

Roll over, fatso. Christie missed his window back in 2012, when he played hard to get. Now, he can forget about it…

Armyspouse on February 4, 2016 at 9:40 AM

Way to write a RUBIO VAULTS TO SECOND IN NH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! piece without angering your readers, lol!

Jose K on February 4, 2016 at 9:41 AM

Incentive for dieting?

WryTrvllr on February 4, 2016 at 9:41 AM

If Christie can convince voters he will enforce strict immigration laws he will blunt Rubio in NH…

…this election is 69% immigration.

mjbrooks3 on February 4, 2016 at 9:41 AM

Christie has been my top pick from the beginning, I hope he sticks it out to the end.

Bishop on February 4, 2016 at 9:42 AM

Yepper Doughboy

cmsinaz on February 4, 2016 at 9:43 AM

Yeah, Santorum bombed this am

cmsinaz on February 4, 2016 at 9:34 AM

But we all know why. What was he suppose to say? Marco’s only real accomplishment in the Senate was passing amnesty through the Senate with Democrat votes. Santorum didn’t want to mention THAT.

tommylotto on February 4, 2016 at 9:44 AM

Indeed not tommy

cmsinaz on February 4, 2016 at 9:48 AM

My first reaction was he wants to be a VP candidate.

timoric on February 4, 2016 at 9:50 AM

Wow. I had no idea that Krispy Kreme Boy was an S/M aficionado. Or that he was the sub.

The things that one learns during a GOP primary contest are amazing.

platypus on February 4, 2016 at 9:51 AM

Good, Christie, fight on, your presence will hurt Rubio.

cynccook on February 4, 2016 at 9:51 AM

Christie talks good but has by far the worst record on government intervention, appointing judges, economic vitality of his state, and most of all hurting Mitt Romney’s at the critical time by praising the opposing party leader the weekend before an election and hugging the other guy.

timoric on February 4, 2016 at 9:52 AM

Indeed not tommy

cmsinaz on February 4, 2016 at 9:48 AM

Touché

tommylotto on February 4, 2016 at 9:55 AM

Donald still has no details about his policies…..just a lot of talk and attention grabbing…..

Realdemocrat1 on February 4, 2016 at 10:06 AM

Donald still whining…..

Realdemocrat1 on February 4, 2016 at 10:09 AM

“Evidence A” Christie’s back-channel veep overtures were shot down.

Christie tanked Romney when he passed on him. He’s trying to do the same here.

Christie’s future is replacing O’Reilly.

budfox on February 4, 2016 at 10:20 AM

Ed, Ed, Ed.

Besides, Christie’s argument doesn’t even apply best to Christie. He took office in New Jersey as a moderately pro-choice, pro-gun-control governor with a tough attitude towards public-employee unions, only embracing “full-throated conservatism” in the context of running for the GOP nomination.

This is COMPLETELY not true. Christie has been on-the-record pro-life since 1995. He ran for Governor as pro-life. He defunded Planned Parenthood in his first budget. Also he never ran for Governor as pro-gun-control. While New Jersey has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, he did not seek to relax them but he did not campaign on this issue at all. He has vetoed a few stricter gun laws as Governor, well before he decided to run for President.

And he actually didn’t run on busting the unions, he busted the unions when they refused to sit down with him to discuss pension and benefit reforms that were necessary to get the state out of the fiscal toilet.

I’m not trying to say Christie is as conservative as Jeb Bush (as Governor anyway) but please get your facts straight, especially on the pro-life issue. He gets a very bad rap on this. He hasn’t changed his stances on anything that I am aware of just because he is running for President. He’s running as a take-charge, get-stuff-done guy who cut spending and balanced budgets.

rockmom on February 4, 2016 at 10:21 AM

Yikes, Santorum sounds like someone endorsing 0bama in 2008.
Hey, maybe he’s a double agent, actually working with Christie to sink Rubio!

Brat on February 4, 2016 at 10:27 AM

Christie’s future is replacing O’Reilly.

budfox on February 4, 2016 at 10:20 AM

Heh I’d watch that.

Brat on February 4, 2016 at 10:29 AM

Yeah, that clip was brutal. But it’s a must see. This is the line of attack that needs to be used by everyone opposing Rubio. Yes, go after him on amnesty, but nail him as a Republican Obama. That’ll kill his surge before it ever materializes.

Doughboy on February 4, 2016 at 9:39 AM

I didn’t see the clip, but you’re right. This is the only thing that is holding me back from going all-in for Rubio. I love the guy but don’t think he has enough experience.

My problems with Obama are as much about his incompetence as his ideology. He had no clue how to pick a White House staff, organize himself, hold people in his Administration accountable for screw-ups, or even to make sure his promises about ethics were kept. He was unable to see when he was getting rolled by Nancy Pelosi. He surrounded himself with sycophants like Valerie Jarrett so he could not tell when he was losing the public on things like health care and immigration. He let Jarrett run off the one competent guy he had there, Bill Daley, who might have kept him from going off the rails in many areas.

I don’t have any reason to think Marco Rubio will be any better at this sort of basic executive leadership, and you just have to be able to do this stuff well to be a good President. He’s never run anything bigger than his Senate staff, and Senators don’t run their staffs at all. Of course I have the same issues with Ted Cruz, he has also never run anything except a staff of a few lawyers in Texas and his Senate staff.

You can bet Hillary will pound Rubio on his lack of experience.

rockmom on February 4, 2016 at 10:31 AM

he hugged obama

he may as well have put a gun in his mouth

carson53 on February 4, 2016 at 10:31 AM

Yeah, that clip was brutal. But it’s a must see. This is the line of attack that needs to be used by everyone opposing Rubio. Yes, go after him on amnesty, but nail him as a Republican Obama. That’ll kill his surge before it ever materializes.

Doughboy on February 4, 2016 at 9:39 AM

the same argument could be used on Cruz

carson53 on February 4, 2016 at 10:34 AM

My first reaction was he wants to be a VP candidate.

timoric on February 4, 2016 at 9:50 AM

Christie is the worst VP imaginable but he’ll make a decent Atty Gen, and he wants it badly. It’s an open secret in NJ.

Rix on February 4, 2016 at 10:37 AM

This is COMPLETELY not true. Christie has been on-the-record pro-life since 1995. He ran for Governor as pro-life. He defunded Planned Parenthood in his first budget. Also he never ran for Governor as pro-gun-control. While New Jersey has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, he did not seek to relax them but he did not campaign on this issue at all. He has vetoed a few stricter gun laws as Governor, well before he decided to run for President.

And he actually didn’t run on busting the unions, he busted the unions when they refused to sit down with him to discuss pension and benefit reforms that were necessary to get the state out of the fiscal toilet.

I’m not trying to say Christie is as conservative as Jeb Bush (as Governor anyway) but please get your facts straight, especially on the pro-life issue. He gets a very bad rap on this. He hasn’t changed his stances on anything that I am aware of just because he is running for President. He’s running as a take-charge, get-stuff-done guy who cut spending and balanced budgets.

rockmom on February 4, 2016 at 10:21 AM

As a New Jersey resident, I’ll second this opinion. Ed’s head being buried deep up Rubio’s intestines may have a detrimental effect on his blogging quality.

Rix on February 4, 2016 at 10:40 AM

Donald still has no details about his policies…..just a lot of talk and attention grabbing…..

Realdemocrat1 on February 4, 2016 at 10:06 AM

His policy is that he laughs at losers like you.

Younggod on February 4, 2016 at 10:41 AM

When Christie hugged Obama he was toast.

When Rubio took his shot at amnesty and missed he hung himself.

That leaves Trump or Cruz.

I can live with that.

Younggod on February 4, 2016 at 10:43 AM

I could live with a Cruz/Christie ticket if it means no Rubio or Trump.

ReaganCajun on February 4, 2016 at 10:47 AM

the absolute hatred and petty grudges between the Republican candidates is hilarious.

everdiso on February 4, 2016 at 10:59 AM

Christie has a point. Iowa shouldn’t cause any non-evangelical to drop out. Hopefully, he stays in for a while.

cimbri on February 4, 2016 at 7:23 PM