Politics

‘The View’ Co-Hosts Confront Christie Over His Trump Support: How Can You ‘Reconcile That Within Yourself’?

Former N.J. governor faced incredulity for endorsing the president

Image Credit: Screenshot, Mediaite, ABC

ABC News’ “The View” co-hosts cornered former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) on Wednesday and demanded he justify his support for President Donald Trump and “reconcile that within yourself.”

Christie (shown above center) is touting a new book, “Let Me Finish.”

Now an ABC News contributor, Christie competed against Trump during the 2016 GOP presidential primaries. He ultimately dropped out of the race in February 2016 and endorsed Trump 16 days later — when not many other lawmakers did so.

This move — which co-host Whoopi Goldberg called a “surprising endorsement” — apparently still shocks “The View” co-hosts today.

Meghan McCain said she vividly remembered how Christie became “the first mainstream politician,” as she put it, to support Trump.

She said she immediately worried Christie’s endorsement of Trump marked “the beginning of him getting really normalized” and “the beginning of the end.”

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“You at the time said we are not electing an ‘entertainer-in-chief,’ and then seemed to have a quick change of heart. What made you make that decision?” McCain queried him.

Christie said he endorsed Trump because he knew Trump would win the GOP nomination based on his early primary state victories.

“If it was any other candidate in any other year, the media would have all said, ‘It’s over.’ I mean, if you win in South Carolina, New Hampshire, and you barely lose in Iowa, you’re going to be the nominee,” Christie noted. “And so my point was, ‘All right, he’s going to be the nominee, so let’s get moving to try to get him to be better than he is.'”

Co-host Joy Behar (above left) scoffed, “How is that working out for you?”

The audience laughed.

Christie quipped, “Well, you know what, Joy, you don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t, right? So you might have been even more sad than you are now.”

Yet McCain still could not believe Christie said Trump “was exactly what the country needed” at the time. “Do you still feel the same way now?” she asked him.

Christie said he is pleased with much, though not all, of what Trump has done as president thus far.

“So I’m curious, like what?” Behar asked. “I don’t mean to push it, but —”

Christie praised Behar for “giving me the opportunity to point out the good.”

Related: Howard Schultz and Meghan McCain Clash on Air: You’ve ‘Already Lost’ Me

But things became tense when co-host Sunny Hostin (above right) bluntly confronted Christie about his support for Trump. She noted Trump had accused Christie of knowing about the traffic collusion scandal dubbed “Bridgegate.” Christie denied Trump’s accusations.

“This Bridgegate almost brought you down as governor,” Hostin noted before Behar chimed in, “Almost threw you off the bridge.”

“And then you get on national television and stump for him?” Hostin asked as she began to shout. “How do you reconcile that within yourself? Because in my world, those are shots fired. You call me a criminal, I’m not stumping.”

Christie admitted, “All right, yeah, those were shots fired.” He added, “And in your world, maybe when shots get fired you have to go to, as they would say in the mafia, to the mattresses and everybody just tries to kill everybody.”

“In politics, shots are fired every day, and the people who fire a shot at you today are people that you have to work with tomorrow,” Christie said.

He also said he chose to put aside his differences with Trump after the president apologized.

“So when [Trump] apologized to me and then never said that stuff again, you have a decision to make. Do you hold the grudge and say, ‘He said it once, it makes him an awful person, I’m not going to deal with him?’ If we do that in politics with every person who goes over the line, we’re going to be eating dinner alone,” Christie said.

Check out more in the video below:

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