- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 12, 2015

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — New Jersey Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie on Thursday warned that electing a president such as front-runner Donald Trump would make the dysfunction in Washington worse.

Mr. Christie said that he understood the widespread “anger and disgust” with Washington that has motivated voters to back Mr. Trump, but that they will regret sending someone to the White House who does not have any political experience.

“If you don’t have experience and haven’t done it before, you’re not going to want to see what’s next,” Mr. Christie said at a town-hall style event here at Kirkwood Community College. “You think things are bad now? Just wait. It will get worse. So we’ve got to be careful about that.”

Mr. Christie, who has been friends with Mr. Trump for more than a decade, said that he told the billionaire businessman and TV star to his face that he was not the man for the job.

“I’ve said, ‘Donald, you don’t want this job. This does not play to your skill set. If the speaker of the House does not post one of your bills, you can’t fire him,” said Mr. Christie, drawing laughs and nods of approval from the roughly 50 people in the room.

Mr. Christie is at the bottom of the heap in most recent polls, but he has experienced a recent rise in likability ratings and a burst of positive attention for his heartfelt pleas to make drug addiction a top issue.

He predicted that support for Mr. Trump will plummet as the nominating contests get closer and voters think harder about what it would be like having a president such as Mr. Trump or retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, another outsider candidate who is at the top of the polls.

“I don’t think people have thought about it in great depth,” Mr. Christie said. “Those of us who are also in this race are counting on the people of Iowa and New Hampshire. Now that Thanksgiving is coming and Christmas is coming, we all start thinking about the fact that that [Mr. Trump‘s] sentiment is a good sentiment, but anybody can burn a building down, not everyone can rebuild it.”

He stressed that he has the utmost respect for Mr. Trump as a businessman and a friend.

But the governor insisted that he, not Mr. Trump, had the political skills necessary to get the job done.

“You have to have the experience to know how to do that. You can hire any dummy to do a demolition job. Anybody can swing a hammer and demolish something. You hire very different people to swing a hammer to build something,” he said.

Mr. Christie continued: “I would suggest to you is you want someone who is not part of Washington, D.C., who actually knows how to build something, knows how to do something.”

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