TRENTON, N.J. — Republican Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday that he won’t heed calls for his resignation and will continue helping Donald Trump’s GOP presidential campaign.
He defended his endorsement of the billionaire developer as two former Republican presidential nominees and 70 national security experts warned that Trump was unfit to be commander in chief.
Christie, who ended his own Republican presidential campaign last month, tried to steer the conversation at the news conference back to his priorities in New Jersey but agreed to answer questions from reporters. He laughed off questions about his seemingly shell-shocked gaze as he stood beside Trump on Super Tuesday and said he was merely listening as the candidate spoke.
“I don’t know what I was supposed to be doing. All these armchair psychiatrists should give it a break,” Christie said.
Christie said he will continue helping Trump’s Republican presidential campaign but doesn’t have any appearances scheduled. Christie added that his 30th wedding anniversary is next week, but he is otherwise focused on state priorities, including a budget due in June.
Seven New Jersey newspapers have called on Christie to resign. The Star-Ledger, which endorsed Christie in his 2013 re-election campaign, said he has since made it clear that governing the state is a “distant second priority” that comes behind his personal ambition. Six newspapers published by Gannett also called for his resignation.
Christie said he isn’t surprised by the newspapers’ stance because they haven’t supported him in the past.
Defending his endorsement, Christie said he believes Trump would make the best president out of the candidates remaining and has the best chance to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Christie also noted that despite jokes from online commenters, he wasn’t being held hostage or forced into giving any coerced statements on Trump’s behalf Tuesday night.
“This is part of the hysteria of the people who opposed my Trump endorsement,” Christie said.
Christie said he plans to finish out his term and then go into the private sector.
He did shoot one question down Thursday. When a reporter asked, “If you were Trump’s VP pick, would you resign?” he replied, “Next!”