2024 GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie was met with a roar of boos during Wednesday night’s first Republican debate shortly after being introduced to the stage.
Christie participated in one of the night’s most savage attacks against businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, comparing him to ChatGPT.
“I’ve had enough of a guy who stands up here who sounds like ChatGPT,” Christie said after Ramaswamy explained his reason for running for president. “What’s a skinny guy with a hard-to-pronounce name” doing on this stage?
It took over an hour for the candidates to mention the elephant in the room: former President Trump. The hosts asked the candidates to raise their hands if they’d support Trump even if he were convicted in a court of law. Almost all but Christie raised their hand.
The former New Jersey governor refused to voice his support for former President Trump should he secure the Republican nominee, pushing back against the boos.
“The conduct is beneath the office of the president of the United States,” Christie said.
Former Vice President Mike Pence also refused to say whether he would support Trump, while Ramaswamy vowed to pardon 45 if elected in 2024.
“Let’s just speak the truth. President Trump, I believe, was the best president of the 21st century. It’s a fact,” Ramaswamy said. On the other hand, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) walked on eggshells surrounding the question, pushing for Republicans to move forward and not focus on the past.
Christie has been polling negatively since announcing his campaign. According to a FiveThirtyEight poll, 48.7 percent of voters view the Republican as an unfavorable candidate, while only 23.4 percent view him as favorable.