In comments Saturday in Atlanta, the former New Jersey Governor made light of a strategy memo released by the DeSantis political operation that telegraphed an attack on him at a debate next week.
“I don’t know. A canned line used by a Florida politician, on a debate stage, against me? What could go wrong?”
Christie’s callback was to a debate during the 2016 presidential campaign against Sen. Marco Rubio, in which he vivisected the then-candidate for overly scripted lines.
“The drive-by shot at the beginning with incorrect and incomplete information and then the memorized 25-second speech that is exactly what his advisers gave him,” Christie chided.
While Rubio says that analyses saying he lost the race because of that moment were “lazy and dumb,” Christie clearly diverges from that read, and is confident that he may have a second chance to work that magic in Milwaukee on Wednesday.
Christie’s comments are responding specifically to a leaked memo from the pro-DeSantis super PAC, Never Back Down. The memo, among other things, advised the Governor to “defend Donald Trump in absentia in response to a Chris Christie attack.”
Christie, who has displaced DeSantis in one poll this week for second place in New Hampshire, hammered DeSantis Friday after the publication of the memo exposed the debate tactic in waiting.
“The only way to beat someone is to beat them, and if he thinks he’s going to get on the stage to defend Donald Trump on Wednesday night, then he should do Donald Trump a favor and our party a favor, come back to Tallahassee, endorse Donald Trump and get the hell out of the race,” Christie said Friday in Miami.
Jesse Scheckner contributed reporting.