New Jersey governor Chris Christie has endorsed Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination. Christie, who dropped out of the race following the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9, said Trump “will do exactly what needs to be done to make America a leader around the world again,” at a joint press conference with the New York businessman.
It should come as no surprise that Christie eventually lined up with the Trump campaign. Both men are loud, northeastern, urban, populist Republicans who appeal to conservative white ethnics, union members, and other blue collar voters.
Both have relatively liberal instincts on social policy, at least on health care and pensions. As governor of New Jersey, Christie expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act; meanwhile, Trump doubled down on his promise to “not let Americans die in the streets” due to a lack of health care during the Feb. 26 debate.
Both, of course, have been heavily criticized for their “bullying” public presence, and embrace traditional displays of masculinity. Each man has suggested that various ideological opponents could do with a “punch in the face.”
And despite protestations to the contrary, neither man is overtly religious.
“I heard this from a media member before,” Christie said during a press conference ahead of his doomed New Hampshire campaign. “They think the fight between me and Donald Trump would be King Kong vs. Godzilla. And quite frankly, I don’t know which one I am.”
Earlier this year, the New Jersey governor argued why Trump—never mentioned by name but clearly the target of Christie’s remarks—
“Showtime is over. We are not electing an entertainer in chief,” he said in a high-profile speech. “Showmanship is fun, but it is not the kind of leadership that will change America.”