Chris Christie Reportedly Being Vetted For Spot As Trump’s Running Mate

Chris Christie remains at the top of the list of potential Trump running mates.

Donald Trump Chris Christie

CNN is reporting that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is among the apparently small group of people being vetted for possible selection as Donald Trump’s running mate:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — a former Donald Trump rival turned top defender — is being vetted as a possible running mate for the presumptive Republican nominee, a source confirmed to CNN on Thursday.

Christie has received the official paperwork for the vetting process, according to a source with knowledge of the process.

Trump has said he intends to announce his vice presidential nominee at the Republican National Convention in July in Cleveland.

The New York Times was first to report Christie’s vetting.

Though Christie ran against Trump in the GOP primary, the two have been long-time friends and Christie quickly endorsed Trump and became a reliable presence at his events after dropping out of the race. The New Jersey governor has been one of Trump’s highest-profile surrogates, continually defending him against critics.

When Trump was getting chastised by others in the GOP for his criticism of a federal judge over seeing a Trump University lawsuit, Christie said the billionaire was perfectly justified.

“In the end there are always going to be conflicts regarding civil lawsuits. People are always going to express their opinions. Those are Donald’s opinions, and he has a right to express them,” he said. “I can guarantee you that, you know, people who are going to vote today in (New Jersey) and people who are going to vote in November are not going to make their decision based upon this kerfuffle.”

He added: “I’ve known him for 14 years and Donald Trump is not a racist.”

The fact that Christie is being vetted shouldn’t come a much of a surprise given the fact that his name was on the short list of potential running mates leaked by the Trump campaign earlier this month. As I noted at the time, Christie’s presence on this list shouldn’t really come as a surprise given the fact that he was among the first “establishment” Republicans to endorse Trump, and he did so when the outcome of the campaign was still very much in doubt. Additionally, Trump and Christie apparently have a personal and political relationship that goes back more than a decade as well as a combative political style that is arguably very compatible. Additionally, among the candidates on Trump’s short list Christie would probably be the best at taking on the “attack dog” role typically left to the Vice-Presidential running mate, although Trump seems perfectly fine with being his own attack dog. Christie has also become a powerful figure within Trump’s inner circle, serving as something of an Ambassador between the campaign and Republican Governors that he worked with when he was head of the Republican Governor’s Association as well as an influential adviser within the campaign.

Despite all of that, it’s not apparent what Christie brings to a potential ticket. His endorsement of Trump has disappointed fans among both the establishment and the conservative wings of the GOP, and his seeming obsequiousness has become the subject of jokes. Back home, Hillary Clinton’s lead over Trump in the Garden State is so large that it seems unlikely that selecting Christie would have any impact on the race at all:

Hillary Clinton holds a dominating lead over Donald Trump in New Jersey, according to a new poll — although her lead narrows with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson in the mix.

Clinton has 52 percent to Trump’s 31 percent when just the two candidates are named, according to the Fairleigh Dickson University PublicMind poll released Wednesday.

When Johnson is also listed as an option, Clinton’s lead shrinks. In that scenario, she gets 44 percent, with Trump at 32 percent and Johnson at 9 percent.

The Libertarian nominee particularly cuts into Clinton’s support among women and white voters.

About 6 in 10 New Jersey voters expect Clinton to win in November, while just 27 percent expect Trump to win.

The same poll also shows that Christie’s job approval numbers back home stand at a pathetically low 26% while President Obama’s are more than twice as a high at 54%. In other words, Trump can forget about Christie coming anywhere close to helping him win New Jersey, because that’s simply not going to happen.

All that being said, selecting Christie would seem to be something that would fall right in with everything we already know about Trump. As I said, the two men already seem to get along very well, and that seems to be something that goes a long way with Trump. Additionally, Christie would arguably give Trump some of the credibility that Trump lacks among the “establishment” wing of the GOP and, perhaps, help to recruit the support of Republican Governors and donors who have, so far, stood on the sidelines so far this this election cycle. It will still be several weeks before we know who the running mate selection will be, but Christie should be kept at the top of the list.

FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. gVOR08 says:

    it’s not apparent what Christie brings to a potential ticket.

    He’s willing to take the job

  2. Moosebreath says:

    It’s the Trump equivalent of the Double-Bubba ticket of 1992, except instead of being another wonkish centrist Democrat from the South, you get another cantankerous Republican from the NYC area who believes in insulting everyone who disagrees with him.

  3. Jc says:

    It is his best chance of becoming President. The odds of Trump being impeached or resigning have to be even money.

  4. Kylopod says:

    When Trump was getting chastised by others in the GOP for his criticism of a federal judge over seeing a Trump University lawsuit, Christie said the billionaire was perfectly justified.

    Remember, this is the same Christie who a few years back received flak from the right–and praise from the left–for appointing a Muslim judge and proudly standing by the decision.

    Christie is one of a handful of politicians (like John McCain) who got an unearned reputation in the media as straight-talkers, despite being a mealy-mouthed, pandering liar like the best of them.

  5. grumpy realist says:

    I can see Trump dangling the idea out there, but it’s too sensible for him to do. My prediction is that he’ll pick Ivanka.

  6. C. Clavin says:

    Christie on Trump:

    “What’s that tell you about what we can expect if things go sideways when you go into the Oval Office? What are you going to do? Go upstairs to the residence and say ‘I’m not playing’?” he said. “You know, ‘Vladimir Putin isn’t being nice to me, I’m not going to return his call’? ‘The press isn’t being nice to me, I’m not going to hold any more press conferences’?”

    “We do not need reality TV in the Oval Office right now,” he said. “President of the United States is not a place for an entertainer.”

    “The fact is we don’t need to be profiling in order to be able to get the job done here,” Christie told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “What you need is a president who’s had the experience and the know-how to do this and not someone who’s just going to talk off the top of their head.”

    He’s “a great guy and a good person,” Christie said, “but I just don’t think that he’s suited to be president of the United States.”

    And regarding Trumps wall:

    “It’s not going to happen. It’s the wrong message to send, and it’s not going to be effective,” he said during a town hall. “Always beware of the candidate for public office who has the quick and easy answer to a complicated problem.”

    Enough said….

  7. wr says:

    I think this is a grand idea, especially with the Bridgegate trials starting in October…

  8. C. Clavin says:

    @grumpy realist:

    My prediction is that he’ll pick Ivanka.

    I’m pretty sure he has other things in mind for Ivanka…

  9. michael reynolds says:

    I’m embarrassed for Christie. Once he was a man. Now he’s Gollum begging for a chance to touch the Precious. I have to avert my gaze. I don’t enjoy toadies.

  10. PJ says:

    I guess Christie has been housebroken now.

  11. Mister Bluster says:

    Vote Trump and Plump! A New Bridge for America!

    Are we going to Jersey?

  12. C. Clavin says:

    Christie auditions for TOP TRUMP TOADIE

  13. grumpy realist says:

    @michael reynolds: To be vulgar, one wonders exactly how big the sack is that Trump has Christie’s nuts in.

    For such a blowhard, Christie never seems to have heard about the Duke of Wellington: “Publish and be damned.”

  14. DrDaveT says:

    [ Insensitive joke contrasting the GOP and Ringling Brothers policies deleted. ]

  15. Facebones says:

    Part of the Veep duties is to make McDonald’s runs, right?

  16. Andrew says:


    Why go on runs?
    The Presidential bowling alley? Perfect spot for a McDonald’s. Like that Macaulay Culkin Richie Rich movie, where he had one built for lunch.
    Maybe if Rubio loses that Senate bid, Trump will hire him to manage it and hand out bottled water.

  17. grumpy realist says:

    Between Trump’s financial fiasco and total lack of ground support, what’s the under/over that the Republican Party will just go ahead and fire Trump at Cleveland? Could it happen?

  18. LaMont says:

    I have to admit – I would love to see a Christie/Warren debate! Don’t think Hillary would choose Warren but that would be awesome to watch…

  19. Gustopher says:

    Couldn’t he find the equivalent of Admiral Stockdale, but racist or indicted or convicted or somehow worse?

    I liked Stockdale, I thought he was the best part of the Perot ticket.

    With a little effort, Trump and his handlers could recreate the magic — how about Petraeus, but make him wear hearing aids that screech out static, give him glasses that are the wrong prescription, and maybe put a lift in one shoe so he walks with a limp. Ideally he would have some kind of horrific claw for a hand, but that might be asking for a bit much. I don’t think Stockdale had even half these problems, but we live in a different age, and need a better show.

    And, before every appearance, his handlers would put him in an office chair and spin him as fast as they could so he walks out woozy and disoriented.

    The Republicans love Gen. Pertraeus, so he would unite the party.

  20. MarkedMan says:

    Traditionally the VP candidate displays different personality traits than the Pres candidate. So Christie will be the calm reasoned one who doesn’t resort to insults and abuse. Got it

  21. pylon says:

    Is it because his unfavourable ratings make Trump look good?

  22. Mister Bluster says:

    Maybe the RNC will award Trump a Model S Tesla at the convention to use on his campaign tour!
    Heads Up!

    Tesla stated that neither the driver nor the autopilot system acknowledged the white side of the trailer against a “brightly lit sky,” and the brakes were not applied before the sedan crashed into the underside of the trailer.

  23. Scott F. says:

    They’re going with a full bore Strong Man / Bully ticket.

  24. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @gVOR08: That’s all that I got…

  25. Argon says:

    What Game of Thrones character best matches Christie?

  26. Jen says:

    @Scott F.: Pretty much my reaction: they are taking “Bully pulpit” a bit too literally.

  27. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Just when you thought that this manna from Heaven thing couldn’t get any better for the Democrats …

  28. Joe says:

    I was hoping for Joe Arpaio. Damn

  29. Tyrell says:

    There are two candidates that would get more votes and support than Hillary and Donald combined. They would generate more excitement than the Kennedy campaign. These two candidates would bring everyone together. They would bring about an optimism and feeling not seen since the days of Lyndon Johnson. They would have everyone feeling good about politics again.
    And just who would definitely do this ?
    A ticket of James – Curry !

  30. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Heh. I was hoping for Newt. I guess they were too worried that the thing that lives on Callista’s head would jump off and bite the thing that lives on Trump’s head….

    Attack of the Tribbles, Round II.

  31. Moosebreath says:

    @grumpy realist:

    You still might get your wish. Newt is being vetted as well. In this case, the double ticket would be two men on their third marriages, each having prominently cheated on their first two wives.

    Because Character Counts!!!

  32. gVOR08 says:

    Late and off topic, but Christie just halted infrastructure projects in NJ because the legislature hasn’t passed a tax deal.

    Didn’t know he was even pretending to still be doing any governoring.