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Chris Christie: I'd be President if Trump hadn't run
2016 may go into the record books as the year with the most presidential "what-ifs" in American history.
The Democrat base is sure that Bernie could have won.
Joe Biden has said he regrets not running, and seems to think he could have won.
Hillary's people let it slip that they were afraid Rand Paul would take the GOP nomination, because they thought he would have won.
On and on it goes. What if Rubio and Cruz had teamed up, what if Paul and Rubio had joined forces, what if Hillary had gone to Wisconsin, and what if the Democrats had allowed an actual primary? The list of possibilities is endless.
Now, we have one more. What if Trump had not been in the race at all? Would the GOP have nominated Paul, Rubio, or Cruz?
Don't be ridiculous.
According to Chris Christie, if Trump hadn't run Chris Christie would be your current President.
When you stop laughing, you can read his quote from the New York Post:
Outgoing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he believes he would “absolutely” be the president if Donald Trump had decided not to run, according to a report Sunday.
“It’s incredibly frustrating to think to yourself, ‘Wow, if this guy were not in the race, we’d win this thing,’” Christie told NJ.com, describing internal polling by his campaign. “And I absolutely believe if Trump had not gotten into the race I think we would have won.”
Christie, who leaves office on Jan. 16 to make way for Democratic Gov.-elect Phil Murphy, also conceded that his standing as governor and presidential candidate was damaged by the “gate” scandals – Bridgegate and Beachgate.
“What Bridgegate did was deprive me of the benefit of the doubt – that’s all. That’s a big thing. But that’s what it did,” he said of the outrage created when two of his associates closed down two lanes of the George Washington Bridge in 2013.
I used to wonder about the Republicans who dropped like flies during the 2015-2016 primaries. Scott Walker seemed to have everything needed to be a successful candidate. So did Rand Paul. As much as I like Cruz, he's always had a likeability problem, so that made some sense to me. But it seemed like much of the GOP field just seemed to vaporize itself for no obvious reason. Sometimes, I think they just imploded. Other times I suspect they were quick to see something that the rest of us didn't - inevitability.
Never did I wonder about Chris Christie. In fact, the only thing I ever wondered about Chris Christie was "why did he run in the first place?" To me, he was always right next to Santorum in the "doomed" category.
Chris Christie may like to think he could have won, but he spent most of 2015 running at about 6% in the polls. His needle never really moved, and it wasn't just 'bridgegate' that did him in. I'd be willing to bet that most of the country didn't even know what that was. The stroll on the beach with Obama, his smarmy wannabe-outsider attitude, and his generally awkward stage presence did more to stop him than some non-scandal about traffic lanes.
2016 was, from the get-go, a rejection of the status quo. On the GOP side, there was a candidate who noticed that, kicked down the doors, and took advantage of it. On the DNC side there was a conspiracy designed to rid the party of interlopers. Had the GOP run a standard politician like Christie, they would have suffered a standard defeat.
Donald Trump may have been the final nail for Christie but, had he somehow managed to secure the nomination, we'd be talking about President Hillary right now.