Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Friday that he wasn’t particularly sympathetic toward Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who was criticized for a trip to Cancun earlier this week while his home state of Texas suffered from blackouts caused by extreme winter weather.
Speaking with host Guy Benson on Fox News Radio, Christie addressed the many memes and photo mashups that had been created from images of Cruz at the airport ― including one that placed the Texas senator alongside Christie on a New Jersey beach.
In 2017, Christie was photographed at the beach after closing all beaches in the state due to a budget impasse, making him the subject of criticism and numerous memes himself.
“I have sympathy for anyone in public life with a family who faces those kind of really difficult decisions on a regular basis, and I faced them a couple of times when I was governor,” Christie said, after telling Benson that he’d seen the meme of himself and Cruz. “And I made mistakes at times because I was thinking more like a father than about the full-time job that I had. So I have sympathy in that. But I will tell you that it’s hard to have sympathy for Ted Cruz, because Ted was right on board making fun of me back in 2017 when I had that incident on the beach.”
Christie speculated that the media was “piling on” Cruz for his gaffe partially because “the media loves to pile on Republicans,” but also because “Ted has just not been a very likable guy.”
“He’s taken every chance he can to take shots at people on both sides of the aisle over the course of his career,” Christie said. “So ... when you decide that’s what you want to do, especially on personal matters, there’s not going to be a ton of people running to your defense.”
For his part, Cruz defended his decision to go to Cancun by claiming that he wanted to be a “good dad” for his daughters, who had asked to take a trip with their friends due to school cancellations.
Text messages from Cruz’s wife, Heidi Cruz, seen by The New York Times appear to indicate a grander getaway initially planned by the family. The senator returned to Texas on Thursday after news of his departure ushered in a wave of criticism.
Listen to Christie’s remarks below.