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Audience Responds After Christie Takes Verbal Jab At Ivanka Trump

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who declared his candidacy for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination on Wednesday, drew muted groans from a small audience during his campaign launch when he appeared to take a cheap shot at Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner.

“The grift from this family is breathtaking. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Kushner walk out of the White House, and months later get $2 billion from the Saudis,” he said, going on to criticize Kushner’s role in then-President Donald Trump’s White House.

“You think it’s because he’s some kind of investing genius? Or do you think it’s because he was sitting next to the president of the United States for four years doing favors for the Saudis? That’s your money. That’s your money he stole and gave it to his family. You know what that makes us? A banana republic,” he said.

Notably, Donald Trump lost about $1 billion in personal wealth during his presidency and never took one penny in salary, donating his annual $400,000 salary to various government agencies instead.

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The former GOP governor was likely referencing a $2 billion investment into Kushner’s firm A Fin Management LLC (Affinity) by the Saudi-backed Public Investment Fund.

In response, the Trump campaign released a video of Christie superimposed at a buffet holding a plate of food, likely a jab at Christie’s weight.

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Former President Trump responded on his Truth Social platform: “How many times did Chris Christie use the word SMALL? Does he have a psychological problem with SIZE? Actually, his speech was SMALL, and not very good. It rambled all over the place, and nobody had a clue of what he was talking about. Hard to watch, and boring, but that’s what you get from a failed Governor (New Jersey) who left office with a 7% approval rating and then got run out of New Hampshire. This time, it won’t be any different!”

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In an interview with “Good Morning America” on ABC after his launch, Christie appeared to be well aware that the path to the nomination goes “right through” Trump.

“There’s only one lane to the Republican nomination for president, and Donald Trump is at the head of it, and you have to go right through him and make the case against him. And that’s what I intend to do,” Christie said.

It is his second presidential campaign. For a time, Christie seems to rise atop the GOP field in 2016, only to be vanquished, along with the rest of the Republican field, by Trump who went on to defeat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

He launched his campaign on Tuesday, commencing with a town hall-style event held at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. During the event, he presented himself as a contrasting figure to Trump, appealing to voters with his distinct approach and policies.

He remained on message Wednesday, telling ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that Trump and his campaign team have “put themselves before the American people.”

“That’s exactly what he’s done each and every time when there’s been a key decision to make, and Joe Biden is showing he is simply not on for the job,” Christie noted. “I’ve been tested, tested over and over again in a blue state when I was governor, a very difficult place to govern. And I know how to bring solutions to our party and, most importantly, to our country.”

Christie also accused Trump of failing to deliver on big issues like health care, immigration, and other issues.

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