Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Sunday appeared to poke fun at the size of the crowd that attended former President Trump’s keynote speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) over the weekend, saying that the room was “half-full.”
“You saw the scenes at CPAC, that room was half-full,” Christie said on ABC’s “This Week.” “The reason I don’t think the rallies are going on … I don’t think the rallies would be nearly as big as they were before.”
Camera shots from Trump’s speech at the conference showed that the room was not nearly at full capacity. Christie, who ran against Trump in the 2016 Republican primary and then worked on Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns, used the speech’s attendance to point to what he thinks is Trump’s waning support.
“There are lots of indicators here, that he’s not what he used to be, in most respects, you’re talking about and so we’re going to see how that plays out,” Christie said.
Trump, who was the first Republican to launch his bid for president right after the 2022 midterms, has been criticized for what some see as a subdued start to his campaign. But Trump still holds a lead in most polls, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has yet to announce a candidacy, in position so far as his main rival.
Trump used the speech at CPAC to pitch himself as the savior of the Republican Party, telling voters he is the only one who can stop a coming onslaught against American democracy.
“In 2016, I declared I am your voice. Today I add: I am your warrior. I am your justice, and for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution,” Trump said in the speech. “Either they win, or we win. And if they win, we no longer have a country.”
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