GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie said he would not issue a pardon for former President Donald Trump’s potential criminal convictions if he were elected president. Christie is currently languishing in fifth place in Republican primary polls, over 50 percent behind Trump.
No maybe’s, ifs, or buts
In a recent interview on “The View,” the former governor of New Jersey did not hesitate to say no when co-host Joy Behar raised the prospect of pardoning Trump. Behar pointed out that Christie’s GOP presidential rivals Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis said they would pardon the former president.
An irresponsible president
“No, no, no, no,” Christie said. “As a governor, I issued pardons,” he explained. “And one of the things you have to do is look at the person. The person has to accept responsibility for what they did. Do you think Donald Trump will ever accept responsibility for anything he did?”
“It’d be really the easiest pardon decision I would ever have to make as president,” the former governor said. “You don’t accept responsibility? Too bad. Go to jail.”
Trump leading the pack
Former President Trump is currently leading the GOP presidential contest by double digits. He faces four criminal indictments, two related to his attempts to reverse the 2020 election, with a total of 91 charges.
Jack Smith vs. Trump
Two of those cases were brought by special counsel Jack Smith’s office. One case relates to Trump’s efforts to remain in office despite his loss of the 2020 election to President Joe Biden, and the other concerns his willful retention of classified government documents and his refusal to return them despite being subpoenaed for classified records.
Regarding the classified documents case, which saw Trump tell reporters he could have declassified the documents when he was president, Christie has said he “can’t imagine” issuing a pardon to the former president.
But it depends on there being a fair trial
In July 2023, he told NewsNation’s Chris Cuomo: “Let’s say with the documents case—which is the only one that the president would have jurisdiction over. Given what’s alleged in the indictment, if that were proven, and … the former president were found guilty, as long as I thought he got a fair trial … I would have a hard time considering any pardon.”
Former governor calls out rival’s silence
Former governor Christie has long criticized his fellow candidates, Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, and Vivek Ramaswamy, for not calling out Trump by name, accusing them of not running serious campaigns against him.
Haley and DeSantis are unserious about the 2024 election
“The other thing about what both Nikki and Ron are doing right now, is this isn’t about this race. This is about 2028. Neither of them are going after Donald Trump, they’re not running against him. They’re doing the best they can to come in second and then in 2028 they wouldn’t have offended Trump’s voters,” he said.
Trump ponders a Haley VP pick
Christie has said his GOP rival candidates are aiming for a Cabinet position or the role of vice president to Trump. Recent reports have indicated that the former president was asking advisers about possibly picking Haley as his running mate. The response was largely negative.