- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 11, 2021

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie boasted in an interview posted Thursday that he won his state reelection by a wide margin while former President Donald Trump lost to President Biden, signaling he won’t back down after Mr. Trump attacked him for saying the GOP must focus on the future instead of relitigating the 2020 contest.

“I’m not gonna get into a back-and-forth with Donald Trump,” Mr. Christie, who served as governor from 2010 to 2018, told “Axios on HBO.” “But what I will say is this: When I ran for reelection in 2013, I got 60% of the vote. When he ran for reelection, he lost to Joe Biden.”

“I’m happy to have that comparison stand up because that’s the one that really matters,” he told interviewer Mike Allen.

Mr. Christie, who backed Mr. Trump after dropping out of the 2016 primary, said he still considers the former president a friend despite a rift over the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol inspired by Mr. Trump’s complaints about the 2020 election.

Yet Mr. Trump is upset over Mr. Christie’s extensively covered remarks to the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas, during which he urged Republicans to focus on future contests instead of claims of fraud last year.

Mr. Trump said Mr. Christie “was just absolutely massacred by his statements that Republicans have to move on from the past, meaning the 2020 Election Fraud.”

“Everybody remembers that Chris left New Jersey with a less than 9% approval rating — a record low, and they didn’t want to hear this from him!” Mr. Trump said in a Monday statement.

A Rutgers-Eagleton poll taken when Mr. Christie left office said his approval rating was at 19%.

Mr. Christie focused on his 2013 reelection campaign, in which he won by over 20 points, as he generates buzz about a possible 2024 run. Other Republican contenders have been quiet or signaled they are waiting to see if Mr. Trump jumps into the fray.

“I’ve never walked away from an argument, no matter who stood on the other side,” Mr. Christie told Axios.

Mr. Christie said Republicans need to focus their energy on the policies of Mr. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

“I think it’s much more productive to fight those policies than to fight with other Republicans,” Mr. Christie said.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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