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Former NJ Gov. Chris Christie warns Evangelicals that Trump cannot be trusted in 2nd term

At Faith & Freedom conference, Christie says Trump’s ‘character’ — not policies — is key factor

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaking at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s 'Road to the Majority Policy' Conference (Photo: Screenshot)

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told an Evangelical audience on Friday that he decided to join the 2024 Republican race because former U.S. President Donald Trump “has led us down.”

Christie was booed by the crowd when he accused Trump having no accountability for mistakes made during his presidency while he spoke at the annual Faith and Freedom Coalition’s 'Road to the Majority Policy' Conference earlier this week.

Why am I running for president of the United States? I’m running because he let us down. He has let us down because he's unwilling. He's unwilling to take responsibility for any of the mistakes that were made and any of the faults that he has and any of the things that he's done. And that is not leadership, everybody. That is a failure of leadership,” Christie said.

At that point in his speech, people in the audience started booing.

“You can boo all you want,” Christie replied. “But here's the thing. Our faith teaches us that people have to take responsibility for what they do.”

Some in the crowd applauded, as the former governor continued to emphasize that “People have to stand up and take accountability for what they do.”

“There are a lot of people of faith in that room who want to hear the truth,” Christie later said when he was asked about the situation that transpired during his speech.

“Look, guys, we can't pretend that Donald Trump is a man of character. This is a guy who paid off a porn star. This is a guy who has regularly lied. This is a guy who has abused people who have worked for him,” he added.

Christie noted that since Trump has now marked him as a target, he is “happy to be with Rex Tillerson and with Jim Mattis and with John Kelly and with Mark Esper and with Bill Barr who he called a gutless pig.”

“This is not character,” Christie argued. "If we are people of of the cornerstones of the faith is character. And it is an absolute lack of character. This guy offered me White House chief of staff and then is on a podcast yesterday saying he never trusted me. Well, what does that make him? A liar or an idiot? It's one or the other. Because if you offer me chief of staff and you never trusted me, then you're an idiot. And if you did trust me enough to offer me chief of staff, then you're a liar.”

Either way, Christie said he doesn't think Trump is the kind of person that Republicans want behind the desk in the Oval Office for a second term.

“I came here to this organization today because I respect every one of the people in that room who are there because they care about the country and they want to elect the best person they can," Christie said.

"But I'm not going to come here like other candidates will and pander to them," Christie continued. "I'm going to say exactly what I think. I knew there was a lot of Trump fans out there and I knew I was likely to get booed. But you know what? I guarantee you one thing, I made every person in that room think today and that's part of your job as a leader is not to tell them what they want to hear. It's to tell them what they need to hear."

Following the event, Christie wrote on Twitter: “If you are afraid of a little booing, then you don’t belong in the White House. In fact, you don't belong in this race. I will never stop telling the truth.”

The former New Jersey governor is trailing in primary polls with only 5% of the votes as Trump continues to expand his solid lead. According to the latest NBC News poll, 51% of Republican voters said Trump would be their first pick for the 2024 presidential nomination. That constitutes a 5-point jump from April. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is in second place with 22%. He has dropped 9 percentage points since April, before Special Counsel Jack Smith announced an indictment against Trump in the classified documents case.

Meanwhile, former Vice President Mike Pence is in third place with 7% and Nikki Haley has 4%, a threshold that no other candidate has managed to breach.

Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.

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