Gov. Chris Christie came out swinging Monday against Donald Trump, describing him as a one of the "carnival barkers of today" and declaring "showtime is over."
Christie, speaking at New Hampshire's St. Anselm College, never mentioned Trump by name, but it was clear he was referencing the billionaire GOP front-runner. The tough-talking New Jersey governor told his audience that while the nation lives in "dangerous, perilous times," he hit Trump by suggesting the current crises "demand a grown-up."
"Showtime is over. We are not electing an entertainer-in-chief. Showmanship is fun, but it is not the kind of leadership that will truly change America."
Christie has trailed in national polls, but places a solid fourth place in New Hampshire. Last week Trump lashed out at the New Jersey governor after the New Hampshire Union Leader and its publisher Joe McQuaid endorsed Christie and ran a scathing front-page editorial against Trump.
"It's ridiculous to back Chris," Trump said, pointing out New Jersey's "through the roof" tax rates, nine credit downgrades and the George Washington Bridge closure scandal. Christie insists he knew nothing of a plan by his aides to shut down several lanes of the bridge for several days in September 2013 in retaliation against the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, for not backing Christie's gubernatorial re-election bid.
"It's impossible to believe he didn’t know about it," Trump told the crowd. "Everybody knows he knew about it."
Christie "can't win because of his past," Trump said. "I don’t believe you’ve heard the last of the George Washington Bridge, because there’s no way he didn’t know about the closure of the George Washington Bridge, and all of his people are now going on trial in the very near future. And they’re going on criminal trial. There's no way he didn't know about it."
Trump also took shots at Christie for his embrace of President Barack Obama in October 2012 while the president toured the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in the Garden State.
"He was so warm, and so happy to have Barack Obama in the state of New Jersey that I personally think it could have cost [Republican Mitt] Romney the election," Trump said. "I actually thought that Christie was going to vote for Obama based on that little episode."
"I don't call it a hug. I call it a hug mentally," Trump added. "It was unbelievable. He was like a little boy: 'Oh, I'm with the president.'"
Trump said he knows New Hampshire residents are "happy" Christie is spending lots of time visiting them during his campaign, but added that Christie should spend more time looking after things in his own backyard.
"You know, the people of New Jersey want to throw him out of office," Trump said.
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