Former Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie reportedly received a “huge applause” from a crowd after blaming former President Donald Trump for Republican losses in the last three election cycles.
Christie gave a speech blaming the former president for the losses at a Republican Governors Association (RGA) annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, Tuesday morning, Axios first reported. He told the audience that voters “rejected crazy” in the midterm elections due to the party’s quality of candidates.
Christie pointed to the elections of 2018, when Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives, and 2020 when Trump lost to President Joe Biden, four sources familiar with the matter told Axios.He also blamed Trump for the decrease in Republican governors across the U.S., which fell from 31 in 2014 to 26 in 2022. Christie stepped down from his role as the RGA chair in 2014, the outlet reported. He argued that Republicans have lost positions in gubernatorial positions due to many candidates being picked based on their loyalty to Trump.
The former governor praised the organization for not investing in the campaign of former Republican Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, who Trump endorsed. Mastriano lost by almost 15 points to his Democratic opponent Josh Shapiro on Election Day. (RELATED: Don’t Blame Trump For Midterm Losses, JD Vance Says)
He urged the RGA to fund gubernatorial campaigns that combat extremism in the party, the outlet reported.
Governors in attendance included Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, the outlet reported. Ducey reportedly applauded passionately at Christie’s speech.
The former president celebrated the results of the midterm elections, calling it a “great evening” in a Wednesday Truth Social post.
“174 wins and 9 losses, A GREAT EVENING, and the Fake News Media, together with their partner in crime, the Democrats, are doing everything possible to play it down. Amazing job by some really fantastic candidates!” Trump wrote on Truth Social.
A handful of Trump’s endorsed candidates lost their races in key states in the election expected to see a wave of Republican victories. Former Republican Pennsylvania Senate candidate Mehmet Oz, who Trump notably endorsed, lost to his opponent, Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman. Both Arizona candidates he backed, Senate candidate Blake Masters and gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, lost their races to their Democratic opponents.
Trump also saw a handful of victories for his endorsed candidates, notably Ohio Senator-elect J.D. Vance. Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders won her gubernatorial bid in Arkansas, the first woman to do so.