Chris Christie, a former governor of New Jersey, poked fun at his longtime friend, former President Donald Trump, for drawing fewer attendees to the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday.
Trump has long taken satisfaction in the enormous and jubilant crowds he has been able to generate, while making fun of his opponents who are unable to elicit the same response. Christie, who hasn’t ruled out running in 2024, claimed that Trump’s underwhelming performance at CPAC was a sign of his declining power.
“You saw the scenes at CPAC, that room was half-full,” Christie stated on ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopoulos. “The cause I don’t think the rallies are happening is because… The rallies wouldn’t be nearly as large as they were previously, in my opinion.
CPAC 2023 was plagued by lesser participation than previous incarnations of the celebrated conservative event in general. While reporters on the scene recorded footage of some of the empty chairs in the Potomac Ballroom during Trump’s keynote, he did draw significantly larger crowds than his 2024 GOP opponents who spoke at the conference.
“Look, there’s no question that he’s the front-runner. In essence, he is a sitting president seeking nomination rather than reelection. He is currently the front-runner, of course,” Christie continued.
He continued, “There are many signs here that he’s not what he used to be, in most areas. We will thus watch to see how that develops.
When Christie was the US Attorney for the District of New Jersey in the 2000s, he became friends with Trump. In the 2016 election cycle, he later ran against him before quitting and endorsing him. Trump has gotten enraged by Christie’s increased public criticism of the former president after Trump left the White House.
Prior to his speech at CPAC, Trump made it known that even if he were to face criminal charges as a result of one of the numerous ongoing investigations into him, he would still run for president in 2024.
Christie pondered Trump’s commitment, saying, “Well, what the hell else is he going to say? “You know, you’ve got to say that, or else it’s a death knell,” the prosecutor said.