We really can’t focus too much on the truth in advertising aspect of this WaPo headline which claims that Chris Christie “walked out” on an interview with Jimmy Fallon because of a fat joke. We’ll get to the video in a moment, but the “story” being featured by The Fix isn’t really the notable part of what was actually a fairly entertaining interview segment by Fallon. Christie is relating a story about going out on a boat with Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio and their families when Mitt pulls in at a dock and suggests they go for ice cream. Fallon cracks a joke about Christie loving ice cream at which point he gets up, thanks the audience and walks out, but he comes back fairly quickly after Fallon “begs” him to return. Was it a prearranged bit? I don’t know. And really, who cares. But the story he’s telling does raise an interesting question.
Here’s the intro to the story which supposedly took place over the 4th of July break:
Christie: The night before, Mary Pat and I and Marco Rubio and his wife Jeanette both stayed at Mitt Romney’s house.
Fallon: Oh yeah. He’s right down the street from where my wife’s family has a summer home there. It’s like… maybe ten doors down or a jet ski away or something. I don’t have a jet ski. If I had a jet ski I could…
Christie: You don’t have a jet ski in the Hamptons, Jimmy?
Fallon: I do, but I don’t drive it. I pay someone else to drive it.
Christie: So we stay at the Romneys and after dinner he says, let’s go for a boat ride. So it’s me, Mary Pat, two of our kids, Marco and Jeanette, four of their children…
Fallon: And Mitt Romney and 36 of his children.
Christie: And Mitt Romney and Ann and their son Tag, his wife and five of their children.
It goes on to the rest of the amusing story about who was going to pay for the ice cream and how none of the men had any money on them except Mitt, who only had twenty bucks. Ann winds up paying for the ice cream. But here’s the real question… what were Christie and Rubio doing out on a yacht together in the first place? Do they vacation together frequently? (Maybe they go out on that luxurious Rubio fishing boat that the New York Times loves talking about.) Slate and a few other outlets covered the story at the time, describing it as a sleepover where Christie was invited to “crash” there before they marched in a parade the next day. Rubio confirmed it also, but declined to comment and the story pretty much disappeared.
This was roughly two months ago so Trump hadn’t quite gotten around to blowing up the primary pool yet and Rubio was still being talked about as heading for frontrunner status. But Christie knew he was all the way into the race himself. Are these two a lot closer than either of them have let on? I’m starting to wonder if they were thinking of a Rubio / Christie ticket even back then. Of course, if neither of them find a way to break out of low single digits (or nearly a goose egg in Christie’s case) the point will be moot.
Anyway, it was at least a fun appearance on Fallon’s show for a Hump Day break in the usual political warfare. And the image of the three of them on a yacht would make for some great fan art.