CHRISTIE: The ‘lol’ Candidate | Steve Berman

My God, he’s at it again. In 2016, New Jersey’s Gov. Chris Christie spent 70 days in New Hampshire, camped out to try and pry a few votes out of taciturn New England yankees who look down (south is always down) on New Jersey as a pit stop on their way to Florida vacations. In the primary, Christie won a mere 7% of the vote, with former HP CEO Carly Fiorina capturing 4%. He dropped out to become a Trump sycophant.

The New Hampshire primary Christie pinned his hopes on was on February 9th. I was there in my old hometown, where locals still greeted me by name (me not having lived in the state since 1992), covering the primary for Decision Desk HQ, and not one person mentioned Chris Christie. I don’t remember recording one vote for him in our exit poll (it’s possible). What I did see is registered Democrats angrily complaining that they couldn’t change their registration on election day so they could vote for Trump. Some simply left without voting for “her” or Bernie.

By February 28th, Christie was in full bootlicking mode, being ordered around like an intern by Trump. “Get on the plane and go home,” Trump was picked up telling Christie on a live mic at a Tennessee rally after Christie gave his full endorsement and an introduction. It’s not the first humiliation—or the last—Christie endured.

In October 2012, then-Gov. Christie was supposedly campaigning for Mitt Romney, days before the election. It was after Superstorm Sandy, and Christie gave a warm, hearty welcome to President Obama on on the tarmac in Atlantic City, received a handshake, a pat on the back, and “good luck against Hillary in 2016, and thanks for everything” from the President. The NY Magazine Intelligencer spat nails.

Chris Christie — who can’t stop telling everyone just how grateful he is for President Obama’s incredible leadership during Hurricane Sandy — welcomed Obama on the tarmac in Atlantic City today with a restrained, cordial handshake. Obama gave Christie a few pats on the back to convey just how grateful he is for all the work Christie is doing for the Obama reelection effort. 

Nobody takes Christie seriously. He’s the definition of a stray dog at a picnic, going from hand to hand hoping for a bite of a hot dog. He’s got more baggage than his own beach entourage, and yet he pretends he can run for president, over and over again. The only response I have is “lol.”

The 2012 Obama-praise-a-thon debacle still taints him, and by 2014 it was a liability. Christie went from trashing Obama before the storm to flying like an eagle far above it, claiming mere “presidential politics” is beneath him. Yet he had time to pair up with Jon Bon Jovi to ply the crowd in bright blue Sayreville, because why not exploit a storm to win over a few Democrats for yourself, or let your staff punish the mayor of Fort Lee by abusing a bridge? It’s all politics—umm—I mean politics is just mean, so I fly above it, lol.

Of course I was talking about Bridgegate, which brought U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman to practically name Christie as an “unindicted co-conspirator,” while his deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, and the deputy director of the NY-NJ Port Authority, Paul Baroni, took the fall. In late 2013, two of three lanes of the George Washington Bridge were shut down for a “traffic study,” to punish Mark Sokolich, the mayor of Fort Lee, on the Jersey side, who failed to endorse Christie. Sokloch’s complaints, calls and texts to reopen the bridge were ignored as Christie and his staff reveled in their revenge.

Fishman indicted Kelly and Baroni on Part 666 (appropriate) of Title 18, U.S. Code, which deals with theft and bribery. They stole a bridge, or rather, they just borrowed it. Kelly’s most loyal boss, Christie, reacted in 2014 by firing her before she was convicted. The U.S. Supreme Court threw out the convictions in 2020, during Trump’s term of office. Then Christie pretended he was on the defendants’ side all along, drawing a “congratulations” tweet from Trump.

And then there’s the beach thing. The weekend of the July 4 holiday in 2017, during a state government shutdown, beaches were closed on the famed Jersey shore. Yet Gov. Christie helped himself to some sun and surf at Island Beach Park. The resulting photos and beached-whale comparisons were hilarious, if not infuriating to New Jersey residents who spent their July 4th away from the beach. 

“That’s just the way it goes,” Mr. Christie said, according to the New York Times. “Run for governor, and you can have a residence.” He may as well flip his voters the bird.

Christie needed that beach vacation, because it was a hell of a year. Christie went from Trump’s best pal through the winter of 2016, and expected something in return, maybe even a shot at being his running mate. But the little matter of having put Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner’s dad in prison I guess just slipped his mind. There was no way on God’s green earth that Kushner was ever going to let Trump pick Christie, or appoint him to any position, even presidential dog-catcher. It wasn’t going to happen. Christie got nothing, nada, zip, fired from even running the transition team.

By 2019, Christie had turned on Trump, saying in an interview after his published his memoir that Charles Kushner’s crimes “one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes that I prosecuted when I was U.S. attorney. And I was U.S. attorney in New Jersey, Margaret, so we had some loathsome and disgusting crime going on there.” Dang. Kushner made some illegal campaign donations; he wasn’t Walter White. He also didn’t steal the George Washington Bridge.

Christie’s memoir, “Let Me Finish,” was not well-received by those who know him. All the baggage I just covered is the reason. Nobody takes Christie seriously, because he’s made himself a pandering fool. And like a dog returns to its own vomit, Christie is at it again.

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevengberman.

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