Now the former New Jersey governor is trying to reinvent himself as what he used to be — someone who tells the truth even when it’s uncomfortable for his side.
Witness what he told conservative radio talk-show host Hugh Hewitt about the January 6, 2021, attack at the US Capitol:
“January 6 was a riot that was incited by Donald Trump in an effort to intimidate Mike Pence and the Congress into doing exactly what he said in his own words last week: overturn the election. He wanted the election to be overturned.”
Based on everything we know about Trump’s actions that day (and in the days leading up to it), Christie is accurately describing Trump’s motives and goals.
There’s no real debate — especially from Trump — that he believed then-Vice President Mike Pence could (and should) have rejected electors from several states.
“I was right and everyone knows it,” Trump said in a recent statement from his Save America PAC. “If there is fraud or large scale irregularities, it would have been appropriate to send those votes back to the legislatures to figure it out. The Dems and RINOs want to take that right away. A great opportunity lost, but not forever, in the meantime our Country is going to hell!”
And there’s also no question that Trump leaned hard on Pence — right up until January 6 — to change his mind.
“I don’t want to be your friend anymore if you don’t do this,” Trump told Pence in a tense January 5, 2021, meeting, as reported by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa in their book “Peril.” Later in that same meeting, Trump told Pence: “You’ve betrayed us. I made you. You were nothing. Your career is over if you do this.”
Given all of that, it’s notable that Christie is in the decided minority within his party when it comes to acknowledging the facts of what happened on January 6 and why.
Those facts are genuinely indisputable. (And this is before we even see the report from the House select committee tasked with investigating what happened that day at the Capitol.)
Christie’s statement to Hewitt shouldn’t be particularly newsworthy given what we know of that day. And yet it is.
The Point: The Republican Party is in full denial of an orchestrated attack on our democracy. That Christie is the exception rather than the rule within his party is proof positive of that fact.