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Chris Christie's presidential run gets an unexpected Democratic boost

Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang donated to Christie's campaign to help get him on the debate stage against Donald Trump.
Chris Christie announces his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
Posted at 12:50 PM, Jun 15, 2023

Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie received unlikely support this week from a former Democratic presidential candidate. Andrew Yang announced on Twitter that he donated to the former New Jersey governor. 

“I’m considering donating to Chris Christie’s campaign just to get him on the debate stage against Trump. He’s doing a better job making the case against him than any other candidate,” Yang tweeted Wednesday night. “And I did it,” he followed up, with a screenshot of his donation to the Christie for President campaign. 

Yang, who campaigned on Universal Basic Income, is now with the Forward Party, which is a centrist political party.  

Christie is known for his debating prowess after the 2016 presidential debate in which he chastised Marco Rubio for his memorized scripts. Christie served as governor of New Jersey from 2010 to 2018 and was marred by a scandal known as Bridgegate. In September of 2013, officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey closed two of three lanes onto the George Washington Bridge from Fort Lee, New Jersey, causing traffic congestion. The Bergen Record of New Jersey in its initial investigative report revealed that it was part of a political payback as the mayor of Fort Lee did not endorse Christie’s reelection campaign. 

Christie is making the appeal to voters to donate to get him on the debate stage to spar with Trump.  

“I’ve debated him before, and let me tell you — Donald Trump does not want to see me on the debate stage,” Christie tweeted. “He’s a 3-time loser. Loser. Loser. Loser. Get me on the debate stage to debate him,” Christie added.

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According to a Monmouth University Poll on May 30, a majority of Republican voters said former President Donald Trump would be their strongest nominee in the 2024 election. Forty-five percent of Republican voters say Trump is definitely the strongest candidate to beat President Joe Biden in 2024, and another 18% think he is probably the strongest candidate. 

To qualify for the first GOP presidential debate on Aug. 23, a candidate must have at least 40,000 unique donors, according to rules set by the Republican National Committee.  

New Jersey philanthropist Margaret Lam, who is a registered Republican, isn’t sure about Christie’s chances as a presidential candidate. Lam, the founder of The New Jersey Chinese Festival, said Christie was supportive.

“He’s straightforward, he’s kind and he has energy,” she said. 

Christie is known for his brash, no-nonsense style, as governor of the Garden State and on the national debate stage in 2016.

In sparring with Rubio, Christie mocked Rubio’s canned lines.

“There it is,” Christie said. “The memorized 25-second speech. There it is, everybody.”