Didn't Grow Up That Way: Chris Christie's Manic Outing

He recommended that the town hall participants leave. He lashed out at the state's respected Republican governor.
Chris Sununu
, a “liar” is nearing the end of his campaign. And after chastising his rivals for focusing on each other instead of Trump, Christie began to do the same.

And that was a return to form on Wednesday — Christie got into a heated microphone moments before announcing his exit from the race, saying he was “going to smoke” and ousting the candidate who was seemingly stepping aside for support from Nikki Haley. It's Chris Christie's trademark: blatantly trolling a political opponent and elevating himself.

“Those of us who survived him in New Jersey know what he's really like,” said Pat Colligan, president of the New Jersey Policemen's Welfare Association, which clashed with Christie during his tenure as governor. “When I go out into the country and see law enforcement, they say, 'Oh, he's a good guy,' and I say, 'Not really.'”

Part of what made Christie a right-wing star in the Obama era was his willingness to take on public sector unions like the PBA and his brash demeanor. But the environment around him has changed so drastically that there seems to be no room for it Any Not the version of Christie the public saw during his two White House runs — not the elder statesman, not the truth-teller, and certainly not the Trump ally-turned-critic.

“He's a victim of his own ambitions, and he's obviously operating in a party that has no place for him or no respect for him,” said Loretta Weinberg, the 88-year-old former New Jersey state Senate majority leader. In his eight years as governor — Christie once asked reporters why he didn't.
Take out the bat
” on her during the policy controversy.

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Weinberg — who invited Christie
Exit speech
“Great” – Enjoyed watching him take on Trump, but said “Every poll I've seen, people don't like him on a visceral level.”

Bill Paladucci, one of Christie's closest allies and head of his coalition super PAC, said in a statement that Christie will be an honest voice not only for Republicans, but for “anyone who cares about America's place in the world, lack of runway, and governance.” Law is the foundation of a republic.”

John Bramnick, a Republican New Jersey senator and longtime ally of Christie's, said the media's focus on Christie narrowly focused on his role as a Trump critic and obscured other aspects of his candidacy.

“Nobody talked about his substantive ideas about America and what to do,” Bramnick said. “Maybe that's why he looked different.”

Christie earned a reputation in New Jersey politics as a tough-talking politician who eschewed decorum. He created his own viral moments as governor, including telling a heckler “
Sit down and shut up
,” a Democratic lawmaker who disagreed with “numbnuts” and branded him a Navy SEAL.
kept interrupting him
A “fool.”

He battled with statehouse newspapers during his two terms — at one point pushing what critics called a “retaliation bill” against newspapers that would have revoked their lucrative government-mandated advertising. And he failed
Tried to get out
Republican son of a mentor and popular former governor, from his leadership position in the legislature in a politically motivated move.

But the version of Christie that reappeared on the campaign trail in New Hampshire last spring seemed more contrite than rash. He is a Trump bludgeon. But he seemed to constantly exude self-awareness.

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“If you're looking for the right candidate, now's the time to get out,” Christie said when he launched his campaign at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire in early June. “I'm not that.”

Some voters were immediately wary of this new version of Christie, apparently unsure whether the former Trump ally could actually serve as his main critic.

But others saw him as a refreshing voice of reason in a GOP primary where other candidates were reluctant to say anything negative about Trump.

“Christie is a voice that we need to hear, and we need to continue to hear from him,” Hillsborough County Commissioner and member of Christie's steering committee in New Hampshire Tony Pappas said Wednesday in Windham. “He was a true American.”

Christie took the role seriously — the brash brawler eight years ago in Trump's absence on the debate stage
Publicly humiliated
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio He ended up fading into the background without a foil in front of millions of viewers.

But he was a deeply unpopular candidate, delivering a message few in the GOP wanted to hear.
Then the census
showed him
With the highest unfavorable ratings in the Republican field. His support among New Hampshire GOP primary voters hasn't left teenagers. Trump, meanwhile, was ahead by dozens of percentage points.

Haley has begun to pull away from the pack — winning the popular Sununu's coveted endorsement in some polls — within striking distance of Trump.

Soon, Christie faced a dilemma: keep training his fire solely on Trump, or accept the reality that he would have to go through Haley to take on his former friend one-on-one.

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So Christie has adopted split personalities — defending Haley from personal attacks from businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, whom the campaign accused of flipping on abortion, and being too deferential to Trump.

As much as Christie backed into a corner — polls, voters who saw those polls, and anti-Trump Republicans begging him to leave, both publicly and privately — he struggled more.

Sununu went on network news shows and local radio shows to turn the tables on Christie, calling his campaign “dead in the water” and calling any vote for him a “waste vote.” The former New Jersey governor began taking big swings — the day before taping a local television interview. The end is near when he calls Sununu a “liar” at night.

Those frustrations culminated in a viral hot mic moment on Wednesday.

“He's spent $68 million so far, DeSantis has spent $59 million, and we've spent $12 million. [million]. I mean, who's punching above their weight and who's getting a return on their investment?” Christie said. A private conversation with former New Hampshire GOP chairman Wayne MacDonald, a longtime supporter and chairman of his state steering committee, and Christie's wife Mary Pott, was taken on a live feed of his abandoned speech.

“She's going to smoke,” Christy said. “You and I know. She is not up to this. “

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