MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said on Wednesday that Donald Trump is “scared to death” of GOP presidential rival Chris Christie, and won’t go to the first Republican primary debate next week because of him.
Scarborough made the argument about Christie – an ex-ally turned harsh Trump critic – after Matt Lewis, senior columnist at The Daily Beast, questioned whether the former president fully appreciates “the danger” of his GOP rival in an appearance on MSNBC.
The “Morning Joe” host said he thinks Trump is afraid of Christie before reflecting on the former New Jersey governor’s past.
“He saw what Chris Christie did to Marco Rubio when Chris Christie went into a debate with one thing in mind, he knows Chris Christie put Jared Kushner’s father in jail for a very long time. He knows he’s a prosecutor who’s ruthless and knows how to push his case,” Scarborough said.
“And he also knows that his secret sauce in 2016 was being the disrupter. Right? Shaking Hillary Clinton up on the debate stage, shaking the Marcos and everybody else up on the debate stage. That gig that’s like eight years old, right? That’s Elvis in ’77 now.”
Scarborough went on to say that Christie has Trump’s “number.”
“Obviously, his political gut instinct is second to none like he sees it coming. And so I think he’s scared to death of Chris Christie and will not have the guts to go or the nerve to go on stage with Chris Christie anywhere,” he said.
Trump has yet to confirm his participation in the first GOP primary debate next week in Milwaukee, telling Newsmax’s Eric Bolling that he said he “would not” sign the Republican National Committee’s loyalty pledge – part of the criteria to join the debate stage.
Christie, who has previously expressed concern toward the requirement, told ABC’s “This Week” host Jonathan Karl that he had yet to be presented with a loyalty pledge. The former governor, in response to a Trump attack of him, appeared to confirm his attendance at the debate on Tuesday.
“Whatever... see you at the debate in Milwaukee or not, coward,” Christie wrote in a post on X (formerly known as Twitter).