Former New Jersey Governor and GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie made it crystal clear on Sunday that he has no plans to run for the United States Senate when asked if he would challenge incumbent Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ). Speaking with NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Kristen Walker, Christie firmly ruled out the possibility, emphasizing that he had no interest in being in the Senate.
Chris Christie responds on whether he'd run for Sen. Bob Menendez's seat in 2024 amid Democrat's indictment https://t.co/6OxLgutsAO
— Fox News Politics (@foxnewspolitics) September 24, 2023
When Walker pressed for further clarification, asking if he was ruling it out completely, Christie responded with a resounding “Yes.” He harked back to a pivotal moment in his career in 2013 when he had the chance to appoint himself to the Senate but didn’t.
“If I didn’t appoint myself to the United States Senate, the easiest way to get there, I sure as heck am not going to run for it,” he stated.
Christie’s decision not to run for the Senate comes amid swirling controversy surrounding Menendez, who was recently indicted in the Southern District of New York on allegations of using his official position to benefit New Jersey businessmen and Egypt’s government in exchange for substantial bribes, including gold bars and cash.
Despite the indictment, Menendez has refused to step down from his Senate seat, although he did relinquish his role as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as required by Senate Democratic Caucus rules when a member is charged with a felony.
During Sunday’s interview, Walker also questioned Christie about whether Menendez’s indictment challenges the Republican argument that there are two tiers of justice in the United States. In response, Christie commended the Justice Department for acting on the “very horrific facts” presented in the indictment.
“There is no way that any public official has any legal or plausible or ethical explanation for having $500,000 in cash stuffed in jackets and envelopes throughout their home. Gold bars that have the fingerprints of DNA of someone who you were attempting to fix the system for,” he stated.
While Christie made it clear that he believed the Justice Department acted appropriately in this case, he did express some concerns about other actions within the Department. He specifically pointed to Delaware’s U.S. Attorney David Weiss’s handling of the Hunter Biden case, which, he argued, contributed to the perception of a two-tiered justice system.
In addition to addressing the Menendez indictment, Christie, in his usual style, didn’t shy away from discussing former President Trump’s decision to skip the second GOP presidential debate scheduled for Sept. 27. Christie, who initially supported Trump before a fallout in 2020, described Trump’s choice as “unfortunate and selfish.”
During a CNN interview last week, the presidential candidate offered a laundry list of campaign promises that he argued Trump had failed to keep, including balancing the budget, building a comprehensive border wall, and repealing and replacing Obamacare.
“If I had his record, I wouldn’t want to debate either,” he asserted.
Christie also suggested another reason for Trump’s debate avoidance – he doesn’t want to face him.
“I prepared him for the debates in 2016. I prepared him for the debates in 2020. He knows what that’s like. He doesn’t want the American people to see it. I do,” he claimed.