Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie let fellow White House hopeful Nikki Haley know that it’s safe to say former President Donald Trump‘s name.
“I just said his name out loud and lightning did not strike me. I did not fall dead of a heart attack. I have not been poisoned by a member of his staff,” he said at a campaign event in Concord, New Hampshire. “But you would think when you look at the rest of the folks in this race that they fear that’s what would happen if they said his name.”
The former New Jersey governor has been the most outspoken candidate when it comes to criticizing Mr. Trump, and he has called out his fellow GOP hopefuls for not doing the same.
Mr. Christie faulted Ms. Haley, a former South Carlina governor, for not using Mr. Trump‘s name in her campaign’s first TV ad of the race, which aired Thursday. He questioned what she meant when she said in the ad, “We have to leave behind the chaos and drama of the past.”
“What’s that mean exactly, governor? Why not say it? He’s not Voldemort from the Harry Potter books. He’s not he who shall not be named,” Mr. Christie said, referring to the fictional evil wizard also known as the “Dark Lord.”
Mr. Christie said she is “trying to have it both ways.”
“She doesn’t want to offend people who have supported Donald Trump, so she says things like in South Carolina three days ago, ‘He was the right president at the right time, but for some reason, drama and chaos follow him wherever he goes.’ As if he is an innocent victim,” he said.
Ms. Haley, who served as ambassador to the U.N. in the Trump administration, has been rising in the polls and vying for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for the second place spot behind Mr. Trump. She has recently grabbed support from notable players such as JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Americans for Prosperity Action, the conservative political network led by billionaire Charles Koch.
The Washington Times has reached out to Ms. Haley‘s campaign for comment.