CLEVELAND — It’s hard to tell sometimes whether Donald Trump is primarily running for president or to humiliate Chris Christie.
The Republican National Convention finally released its speaker schedule Sunday night and though Chris Christie is listed on Tuesday’s roster of speakers, he is not designated a headliner. That honor is reserved on Tuesday for Donald Trump Jr., West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, Ben Carson and 1990s soap opera actress Kimberlin Brown.
Christie was reportedly runner-up to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence for Trump’s VP slot; now he can’t even secure a headlining role at the Republican convention over a B-level actress.
The Trump campaign did not return a Daily Caller request for comment on whether this was an intentional slight. Christie adviser Mike DuHaime told TheDC that Christie is “fine with his role.”
“It is only dictated by the time slot,” he said about Christie not being a headliner.
Maybe Christie really is fine with his role. But the reality is the other two people who lost out but were widely suspected to be on Trump’s shortlist for vice president — retired Gen. Mike Flynn and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — are designated headliners at the convention. So the fact Christie doesn’t get that same honor only feeds the narrative that the New Jersey governor has been routinely humiliated by Trump since he became Trump’s first major establishment endorser in February, shortly after ending his own presidential bid.
At a Trump press conference in March, Christie was widely mocked for looking like Trump’s hostage. Later that month, Trump accused Christie of being an absentee governor. In June, the New Yorker reported that Trump sends Christie to pick up his McDonald’s orders for him (though Christie’s camp has denied this).
Being turned into a laughingstock may have been a reasonable price for Christie to pay when he expected to be tapped as Trump’s running mate. But that role officially went to Pence last week. Christie was reportedly “livid” at the decision.
Christie’s non-headlining role at the convention just seems like yet another quiet indignity the Trump campaign is foisting upon Christie, whether the Christie camp will admit it or not.
“The Big Mac delivery boy traditionally does not get a great speaking slot,” Tim Miller, the former spokesman for Jeb Bush and member of the #NeverTrump movement, told TheDC in an email. “Everyone who ties themselves to Trump eventually gets humiliated, it’s just Chris can’t seem to get his fill of it.”