2024 GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie spoke to Brian Kilmeade about why he believes being a republican governor from a blue state like Ronald Reagan will help win over independents and democrats who are disenchanted. One of the main issues Christie has with the republican party and Ron DeSantis is banning children from having gender affirming care. Christie believes this is an issue between parents and their children and fears DeSantis is becoming a big government republican by making decisions for families. On meeting the thresholds for being eligible for the first GOP presidential debate, scheduled for August 23 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Christie says he will have a positive announcement later this week and added Trump will be a coward if he doesn’t show up.

Rough transcript below

Brian Kilmeade [00:00:00] Here. We are back. And joining us right now, he’s a presidential candidate for the GOP nomination and thinks he can win it all. The former two term governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, joins us now. Governor, welcome back.

Chris Christie [00:00:14] Thanks for having me on. Good to be here.

Brian Kilmeade [00:00:16] Hey. Bottom line is, I was surprised by your successor. Governor Murphy came out over the weekend and said the president’s greatest weapon to win reelection was the economy. Listen. Do you believe that Donald Trump presents the best contrast for Joe Biden’s reelection, or are there other candidates that you think would be easier for Joe Biden to face?

Speaker 3 [00:00:39] I don’t know that I think this, Chuck, I believe a strong economy and a powerful foreign policy hand. And the president has exhibited both. I think that’s a winning hand no matter who they’re up against. I’m not suggesting it’s a runaway election like it was in 1984. But if you’ve got those two engines on your side, that to me is a winning hand, no matter who you’re up against.

Brian Kilmeade [00:01:02] That’s true. But the question to Governor Christie is, is Governor Murphy right? He’s got those two engines on his side.

Chris Christie [00:01:09] He’s absolutely wrong. And this is why Phil Murphy almost lost reelection two years ago in one of the bluest states in America because he’s completely tone deaf on politics. Look, the American people understand that despite all the numbers Joe Biden throws with them. Here’s the number. They know when they go to the gas station, they’re paying more than they’ve paid before. Joe Biden was president. When they go to the supermarket to pay more than before Joe Biden was president. When they go to try to buy their children clothes, they’re spending more than they are before. When they have to pay the college tuition, they’re spending more. What they realize is that Joe Biden is costing them money every day. He is the Jimmy Carter of the 21st century. And the same way that inflation beat Jimmy Carter when Ronald Reagan ran against him as a conservative governor from a blue state. It’s the same way I’m going to beat Joe Biden on that issue in November 24 as a Republican governor from a blue state.

Brian Kilmeade [00:02:08] What’s going to be hard, harder, winning the nomination or beating President Biden?

Chris Christie [00:02:14] Winning the nomination will be harder because we have a lot of good Republicans in the race, as you know, Brian. I have great admiration for people like Nikki Haley and Mike Pence and Ethan Hutchinson and Ron DeSantis. These are all good candidates. But the problem is that, you know, we have a party where you’re running against an incumbent president, and that’s always hard to do. But in the general election, if we nominate the right Republican and I really believe like Ronald Reagan, you know, a Republican governor from a blue state, knows how to win, independents, knows how to win, Right thinking Democrats who are tired of crazy woke party. You know that. Right. Way to go. And I think that will be the harder part. Nominate the Republican Party. Nominate me. We’re going to we’re going to win 35, 40 states over Joe Biden.

Brian Kilmeade [00:03:04] Well, a couple of things. Head to head in the polls and we know they’re not exact less exact maybe than ever before. But let’s just say that we had to say trends. Maybe you can buy into that and maybe I can buy into that, because the polls have been not totally wrong, but a little. Sometimes they they they they bypass logic. But right now to Santos now was beating Joe Biden. He’s now trailing by five in the latest poll and you have Trump up by one or we’re in a dead heat. What’s changed?

Chris Christie [00:03:38] Look, I think what’s what’s changed is that we’re looking at an entirely different world, Brian. Think about all the things that are going on in the world right now inside our own country, with educational scores going down for kids from K to 12 so that we’re becoming less and less competitive in the world. We’re seeing this horrible situation at the border. We’re seeing what’s going on in Eastern Europe, in Ukraine. We’re seeing China continuing with their friends in Iran and North Korea to make mischief all around the world. You need someone who’s resume their experience, Brian, who’s going to be able to make that case to the American people. And then we’ll wind up winning the race against Joe Biden. And and I think that any of the polling now, as you said, look, we’ve seen these polls be wrong in 2016 when they said Donald Trump had no chance of winning. We saw the polls be wrong in the primary in 2015 and 16 when they said it was going to be Jeb Bush or Scott Walker. There’s a long way to go here and a campaign to be run, and it’s all going to start on Fox News on August 23rd on that debate stage in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Brian Kilmeade [00:04:47] How close are you to getting the thresholds necessary to be on stage?

Chris Christie [00:04:52] I think we’re going to have a very positive announcement this week, Brian.

Brian Kilmeade [00:04:55] This week that means you have 40,000 donations and you have to have at least 1% of the polls.

Chris Christie [00:05:01] And the polls we’ve already gone past that, both the national polls and the polls in New Hampshire. And so we’re fine on the polling side of things. And we’re going to have a good announcement this week about being qualified for the debate stage, I believe.

Brian Kilmeade [00:05:16] A couple of things you can relate to and will definitely be in your lap when they talk about informing parents that their kids want to change genders. New Jersey is now suing three school districts over informing, pairing parents. The governor, you’re just your successor said outing those students against their will will pose serious mental health risks and threaten physical harm to students, including risking increasing suicide, decreasing the likelihood of students will seek support. What’s your reaction to the suing of districts that want parents to know?

Chris Christie [00:05:45] It’s outrageous. It’s absolutely outrageous. Look, you know my position on this, Brian, the only people who belong in this discussion are parents. This is these are very, very difficult emotional issues. And Phil Murphy and the woke Democrats are telling us that a school district, some principal or counselor or teacher in a school district, as well-meaning as they might be, are better off than the parents being in the middle of this. The parents have to be informed. This is an outrageous move by a crazy attorney general who is just trying to make a name for himself, along with a governor who is way far out to the left on all of these issues, including issues of family. My belief on this issue. This is an issue between children and their parents, between parents and their children. And those are the people who should be making these decisions and counseling the children. If we believe parents should be in charge of their children’s educational choices, and I absolutely believe they should be. They sure as heck should be in charge of these kind of personal choices as well.

Brian Kilmeade [00:06:53] So that’s a fight that you back, Ron DeSantis on who’s doing that along with his wife, who’s getting attacked for doing so?

Chris Christie [00:07:00] Look, I absolutely do, except I will tell you this. I don’t agree with Republicans who say that there should be laws in the states banning this stuff for minors, because in the end, Brian, again, it should be a parental decision. I’m not a big government Republican and sometimes I feel about Governor Ron DeSantis is that he’s becoming a bit of a big government Republican. I don’t want to get in the middle of our lives in any way. I don’t want any of these folks making decisions that families should be making around their kitchen table.

Brian Kilmeade [00:07:30] I’m going to bring you just one last question about your race. I want to bring you to what’s happening in Iowa, because a lot of a lot of stuff’s going on, but the race seems frozen. You know, I know you going up a few down a few, the polls up in a few, but it pretty much single digits except for Ron DeSantis, who dropped a few points. But for the most part, Donald Trump’s now over 50, it seems frozen. How do you unfreeze this race? And I’ll tell you, there’s no strategists who can say this reminds me of because not many people around with Grover Cleveland was here. And there’s not many people that could say that a former president is running again when William Jennings Bryan was running. So how do you figure this out?

Chris Christie [00:08:11] Well, look, I don’t think you figure it out, Brian. I don’t think that anybody can prognosticate on this. And one thing, you forgot what you do. You’ve never had somebody run for president before who are two indictments for criminal conduct as alleged in the indictment and had two more investigations open and pending that might result in the governor.

Brian Kilmeade [00:08:30] It seems your party thinks he’s being railroaded and he’s getting he’s getting strength from this.

Chris Christie [00:08:36] Now, look, Brian, what they’re speaking out against is the unfairness that was displayed towards Hillary Clinton. And so they’re going to they’re going to say it’s unfair to Donald Trump. I don’t believe that ultimately is going to lead to him being able to use that as an advantage to win an election. Here’s the way you change it, Brian. You start campaigning. Here’s who I want to remind you of as of today. I’ve been in this race for five weeks. Donald Trump has been running for eight years. So, okay, five weeks in, I’m in third place in New Hampshire, only four points behind Ron DeSantis after being in the race for five weeks. I’ll take that. And yes, Donald Trump’s numbers at the moment seem static in these polls. That’s because guess what, Brian? It’s July in America. Real people are not focused on this. Guys like me and you are focused on it. But the real people in America are not focused on it. They’re going to start focusing this fall when these when these debates start and they see all of us on stage together. And Donald Trump better show up on that stage, because if he doesn’t, he’s telling everybody that he’s afraid to defend his record. He’s afraid to face the men and women on that stage. And I don’t want a coward being nominated against Joe Biden.

Brian Kilmeade [00:09:57] I think he feels like he has too much. He’ll be attacked by 12 people and he’s up by 20 points.

Chris Christie [00:10:03] Oh, poor him, Brian. Poor Donald Trump will be attacked on his record. Well, if his record is as great as he says it is, it should be no problem at all. That’s like somebody accusing you of something, Brian, when you know you haven’t done it. You’re not worried to stand up in court and defend yourself. And that he wants his trial. He wants his trial to happen after the election. Well, of course he does, because what he did with the with the classified documents is indefensible. He should have returned them. So, look, this those kind of truth needs to be said directly to Donald Trump and right to his face. I’m going to do that on the debate stage. Right. And if he doesn’t show up, he’s a coward.

Brian Kilmeade [00:10:44] Ashley. Tattoo Sweden. They want to be part of Naito. They’re not there yet. How does Chris Christie end this war?

Chris Christie [00:10:54] The way you do it is you arm Ukraine as aggressively as you possibly can during this now summer offensive that they’re going to do begin to push the Russians back and make the Russians understand that their dreams of authoritarian aggression are not anything that is ever going to happen. That’s when you get a negotiation going. Because at the end, Brian, what we need is for Russia to understand that they cannot win this war. Once they understand, they can’t win the war. Then you know what they’re going to do? They’re going to negotiate a resolution of it that makes sense. And I’ll tell you who you shouldn’t put in charge of trying to resolve that for the United States. Somebody who said.

Brian Kilmeade [00:11:39] That.

Chris Christie [00:11:40] Putin is a great guy and a terrific person.

Brian Kilmeade [00:11:43] Governor Chris Christie, thanks so much