As of this writing, Election Night 2020 was nearly three weeks ago, and it’s been just over two weeks since most news outlets — and many states — have called the presidential race for Joe Biden. Donald Trump, not so surprisingly, has yet to concede, and he’s peppered the courts with lawsuits alleging voter fraud. All but one of them has been shot down, and for a simple reason: Trump’s often klutzy legal team has offered no evidence to their tall claims. Still, the majority of the GOP has yet to condemn Trump’s refusal to concede. But there have been exceptions.
One of them is Chris Christie, a longtime Trump loyalist and someone who, by his own admission, voted for him a second time earlier this month. And yet, in an appearance on ABC’s This Week, the former New Jersey governor said that, after weeks of pushback, enough is enough. Host George Stephanopoulos asked him a question point blank: “Is it time for this to finally end?” To which Christie responded bluntly: “Yes.”
“Yes,” Chris Christie tells @GStephanopoulos when asked if it’s time for President Trump to stop challenging the 2020 election results, adding that the president’s legal team has been a “national embarrassment.” https://t.co/9HKDetYpa5 pic.twitter.com/zuGivUyqYo
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) November 22, 2020
He then explained his reason why. “The president has had an opportunity to access the courts,” he said, adding that if the president’s legal team — including Rudy Giuliani and former prosecutor Sidney Powell, who’ve been alleging a conspiracy involving [deep breath] Venezuela, Cuba, China, George Soros, and the Clinton Foundation — have evidence of fraud, they should “present it.” But that hasn’t happened. So Christie didn’t hold back. “Quite frankly the conduct of the president’s legal team has been a national embarrassment.”
He elaborated, saying that Powell was “accusing [Georgia] Governor Bran Kemp of a crime on television yet being unwilling to go on TV and defend and lay out he evidence that she supposedly has.” He added, “This is outrageous by any lawyer, and notice, George, they won’t do it inside the courtroom. They allege fraud outside the courtroom but when they go inside the courtroom they don’t argue fraud.”
Look, I’ve been a supporter of the president. I voted for him twice. But elections have consequence. And we cannot continue to act as if something happened here that didn’t happen. You have an obligation to present the evidence. The evidence has not been presented. And you must conclude — as Tucker Carlson even concluded the other night — if you’re unwilling to come forward and present the evidence, it must mean the evidence doesn’t exist. That’s what I was worried about starting Election Night, and I remain concerned today. I think it’s wrong.
He concluded by saying, “As much as I’m a strong Republican and I love my party, it’s the country that has to come first.”
Christie hasn’t always followed the party line. After he was one of dozens in Trump’s entourage to test positive for COVID-19 — which sent him to the ICU — he begged his supporters to take it far more seriously than they have. So kudos to Chris Christie (even if it seems few in Trump’s base listened to him about the latter)! Then again, you’re supposed to take the rational position on things like a rampaging pandemic and baseless accusations of voter fraud. And of course, Chris Christie will still always be Chris Christie.