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July 27, 2016

Trump disses Christie in flub, calls Kaine former N.J. governor

Will the real New Jersey governor please stand up?

Everyone and their mother is bound to misspeak at one point or another, especially in front of the media during a live press conference. That should not be misunderestimated.

If you're Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and you just decided against naming New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie your running mate, however, you might want to get straight that your opponent's VP pick didn't hold Christie's current job.

That's what happened at a Wednesday press conference as Trump attempted to discredit former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine as a viable running mate for Hillary Clinton—a point some progressive Democrats are making without his help, anyway.

Naturally, Trump apologized and moved on without paying it any mind. 

Christie has thick skin, but it's hard to believe this kind of thing doesn't grind his gears. The man put his reputation on the line for Trump, endorsing him well before practically any other major Republican figure, and then accepted the somewhat thankless round-the-clock job of leading Trump's transition team, only to be snubbed as VP in favor of Mike Pence.  He also evidently fabricated a bogus donation from Trump — or maybe he misspoke — to help out with the recovery from Superstorm Sandy. 

That's all on top of actually being the governor of New Jersey.

Christie has already said he's made peace with Trump declining to pick him as his campaign partner, but maybe when the dust of the 2016 election settles, win or lose for Trump, we'll hear more from Christie about what it was like to be a punching bag on Trump's behalf.

Probably not. Trump did, after all, help Christie pay down the debt from his failed presidential bid. 

As for the claims about Kaine, Politifact confirms that he did, as Virginia governor, propose $4 billion in tax increases between 2006 and 2010. These were primarily for transportation and infrastructure projects funded by higher rates on motorist-related expenses. Only about half of those proposals were enacted during his four-year tenure.

Kaine's net job approval rating also remained positive throughout his time as governor, although it gradually declined over his four years in office. Sadly, if Trump had been speaking about Christie, some of what he said would have been more accurate.