Resolute: Christie Drops Out, Haley-DeSantis Drop Gloves, While Trump Drops Hint He’s Already Got a VP Pick

Plus, man spearheading lawsuits to kick Trump off ballot busted on 33 tax charges.

A happy looking former NJ Gov. Chris Christie campaigning in New Hampshire, January 9, 2024. One day later, he's out of the race.

By Al Perrotta Published on January 11, 2024

Chris Christie drops out, drops hot mic bomb on Nikki Haley, while Donald Trump drops hint he’s already got a VP pick in mind. Election 2024 is heating up, and we are Resolute.

Chris Christie Drops Bid to Stop Trump, Ends Up Helping Trump With Off-Mic Dig at Haley

While this may well be a political season of trauma and tragedy, it’s also one of comedy. Take last night. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has had one goal this primary season. Just one dream. To stop former friend President Donald Trump. Every appearance, every debate, he’d light up Trump like 4th of July fireworks along the Jersey Shore.

Last night, Christie dropped out of the GOP race. He realized he didn’t have a path to victory, and that his staying in the race, particularly with the New Hampshire primary looming, increased Trump’s chance of winning the nomination. His leaving, the theory goes, boosts the surging Nikki Haley’s chances.

“I want to promise you this,” he said last night. “I am going to make sure that in no way do I enable Donald Trump to ever be President of the United States again. And that’s more important than my own personal ambitions.”

Christie had no sooner dropped out when he, in fact, helped enable Donald Trump. Before his speech, Christie was caught on a hot mic ripping Nikki Haley.

“She’s going to be smoked (by Trump)” he told an aide. “She’s not up for this.”

He spends a year trying to hurt Trump and ends up giving him a gift that’ll keep on giving.

Trump jumped all over that quote in his Fox News town hall last night, joking later “I am already starting to like Christie better.”

Ron DeSantis also took quick advantage, tweeting, “I agree with Christie that Nikki Haley is “going to get smoked.”

The attack ads will write themselves. As for Haley, she played the Christie slam cool. You can even say classy. Certainly shrewdly because she doesn’t want to tick off Christie voters in New Hampshire.

By the way, one more word on Christie. He’s a genuinely nice fella. Met him on the Jersey Shore after Superstorm Sandy. Very down to earth, with a sweetness and softness I wouldn’t have expected. Well, as sweet and soft as one can be when you’re from Jersey. Two minutes later, he was figuratively fileting a reporter from Philly. 

Trump Says He’s Already Got a VP Pick in Mind

Who is going to be Donald Trump’s running mate should he secure the GOP nomination? You hear names: Elise Stefanik, Nikki Haley, dreams of DeSantis, some out-of-the-box surprise. (For what it’s worth, my early money is on South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, though my pick would be Tulsi Gabbard.)

One thing we do know after last night. Trump already has his VP pick in mind. When asked by town hall co-host Martha MacCallum about a running mate Trump replied, “I can’t tell you that really, I mean, I know who it’s going to be.” He then refused to spill the beans. “We’ll do another show sometime.” (Who knows? Maybe he borrows the old Apprentice set to declare “You’re hired!”) 

Trump was also asked about his rally promise that his 2nd term will bring “retribution.” He replied he’d be “too busy” for retribution and that “our ultimate retribution is success.”

First, Trump has to get past Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis.

Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis Go Head-to-Head, Elbow-to-Elbow in CNN Debate

Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis jousted last night in an official GOP debate hosted by CNN. Joust being the right word, because the two charged at each other full gallop.

To DeSantis, Haley is a “mealy-mouthed politician” and globalist. To Haley, DeSantis is “exploding,” and a “liar” who’s made a mess of his campaign.

“He spent more money on private planes than he has on commercials trying to get Iowans to vote for him. If you cannot manage a campaign, how are you going to manage a country?”

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In more substantive matters, the two articulated their foreign policy differences, particularly when it comes to Ukraine. Haley, of course, is all in, arguing that if Russia isn’t stopped in Ukraine, they will move onto Poland and other NATO nations.

DeSantis countered that she was a “carbon copy” of Biden, wanting an “open-ended commitment,” with no idea where the billions we’re spending is going. A “U.N. way” of thinking. DeSantis wants to find a way to end to war, so we can focus on other concerns like the threat from China.  

“You know, I think there is the problem,” he said. “You can take the ambassador out of the United Nations, but you can’t take the United Nations out of the ambassador.”

Nevada Rejects Bid to Remove Trump From Ballot … While Man Behind 14th Amendment Effort Busted

Nevada has become the latest state to reject a lawsuit aiming to keep Trump off the ballot. U.S. Federal District Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed a lawsuit filed by Texan John Anthony Castro to get Trump off the ballot under the 14th Amendment. In this case, the judge didn’t reject the case on merit, but on standing.

Castro has filed suit in 27 states in his bid to thwart citizens from having the chance to vote for Trump. But now, in one of those crazy twists we’ve already come to expect from 2024, Castro has bigger things to worry about. He has just been arrested on federal tax charges.

“John Anthony Castro was indicted last week on 33 counts of aiding the preparation of false tax returns,” reports The Hill. “Prosecutors claim he ran a virtual tax preparation business that provided customers with tax returns beyond what they were actually owed, defrauding the government.”

Not to make too much of it, but this is the kind of strange thing that happened to Trump in 2016 that didn’t happen in 2020. Someone charges at Trump and they slip on a banana peel. Of course, this slip may land Castro in the federal pen. 

Keep an Eye Out

Stream contributor and former political consultant Bunni Pounds is cooking up a column that will lay out how you can have an impact in the primaries. One idea she might want to consider. Bringing heaters and hot soup. At least for the Iowa caucuses. The forecast for Monday in Des Moines is for a high of minus-4 and a low of minus-12.

Whose supporters are going to be dedicated enough to brave the bitter cold? The only thing you can predict about the Iowa caucus is that it is unpredictable.

 

Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream, co-author, with John Zmirak, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and co-author of the counter-terrorism memoir Hostile Intent: Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism.

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