Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took a shot at ex-pal Donald Trump by hitting at one of his known sore spots: crowd size.
“You saw the scenes at CPAC,” Christie said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, referring to the right-wing convention where the former president spoke on Saturday. “That room was half full.”
Trump is known to obsess over crowd sizes, with one of the very first lies of his administration being a false claim over his inauguration crowd. He’s often made inflated claims about crowds at his rallies, and insisted that they’re sold out even when empty seats are clearly visible.
As Christie noted, Trump’s CPAC speech was moderately attended, with ABC reporting that the back of the room was “almost completely empty.”
Christie said Trump’s empty-seat issue extends well beyond CPAC, and speculated that the former president isn’t holding many rallies because he knows the crowds aren’t what they used to be.
Trump uses crowd size “as an example of his own power and his own authority, and I don’t think he has it anymore,” Christie said.
Christie was once a close ally of Trump, and in 2016 became one of the first prominent names within the party to endorse him after ending his own bid for the GOP nomination. Christie was often within Trump’s orbit during his presidency, and developed a COVID-19 infection in 2020 while helping Trump prepare for the debates.
He has since become more critical of the former president, and last month predicted that Trump would lose to Joe Biden if he’s the 2024 nominee.