New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Thursday that GOP presidential rival Donald Trump has the right mindset to be president.
“Donald’s a great guy and a good person. But I just don’t think that he’s suited to be president of the United States,” he told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren as they walked along the Jersey Shore.
He added: “I don’t think his temperament is suited for that and I don’t think his experience is.”
Christie, often accused of having his own temperament issues, was responding to Van Susteren asking if he would be willing to “take a swipe” at at the Republican front-runner and real-estate tycoon.
Christie echoed recent comments from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), another 2016 contender, to insist that it’s impractical for him to respond to every “crazy thing” Trump says.
“The bottom line is that this isn’t about Donald Trump. It’s about me. And I’ve taken the position with the media — and I think Marco Rubio has done the same thing — I’m not going to answer every crazy thing that Donald says,” he said.
The New Jersey governor did elaborate, however, on why he felt Trump isn’t suited to be president. Christie noted that presidents simply can’t fire legislative leaders like House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) if they are unable to settle their differences.
“He’s got great experience in doing things in business. But I’ll give you a perfect example: If he doesn’t get what he wants from John Boehner, he can’t fire him. He can’t say, ‘Mr. Speaker, you’re fired. Mr. Majority Leader, you’re fired.’ You’ve got to learn to work [with them]. And I just don’t think that it best utilises his skills,” he said. “But I’m not going to respond to every little thing that he says and that’s why you haven’t seen me do that.”
Trump’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but Trump often pushes back aggressively when criticised by his rivals. After Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) started attacking Trump this week, for example, Trump said Paul “reminds me of a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain” and called for him to exit the race.
Trump has also previously dismissed concerns over his temperament by arguing the country doesn’t have “time for tone” given the scale of the problems before it.
View Christie’s Fox News interview below: