For greater than quarter-hour, three of the 4 Republican candidates on the controversy stage fended off sharp questions from Megyn Kelly and made a case for his or her electability. However as they attacked each other’s data, former President Donald J. Trump, the dominant front-runner within the race, was notably absent from the dialog.
Former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, Mr. Trump’s fiercest critic amongst his Republican opponents, took discover.
“I take a look at my watch now. We’re 17 minutes into this debate,” Mr. Christie mentioned to Ms. Kelly. “And besides in your little speech at first, we’ve had these three appearing as if the race is between the 4 of us.”
Mr. Christie, referring to Mr. Trump as “the fifth man” and “Voldemort, he who shall not be named,” mocked the previous president as a coward who “doesn’t have the heart to indicate up and stand right here” — and denounced the opposite candidates for combating amongst themselves whereas ignoring their strongest opponent, who skipped Wednesday’s debate to attend a personal fund-raiser.
Referring to Mr. Trump as a “dictator,” a “bully” and an “indignant, bitter man,” Mr. Christie criticized his opponents on the controversy stage — Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy and Ron DeSantis — as too timid to criticize the previous president. Perhaps, he instructed, they had been unwilling to take action as a result of “they’ve future aspirations,” an allusion to succeeding Mr. Trump or changing into a member of his administration.
“That is the issue with my three colleagues. They’re afraid to offend,” Mr. Christie mentioned. Referring to the Chinese language chief, Xi Jinping, he added, “And in the event you’re afraid to offend Donald Trump, then what are you going to do once you sit throughout from President Xi?”
Mr. Christie additionally pointed to Mr. Trump’s statements about his plans to go after his political enemies if elected to a second time period, in an try to make the case to Trump supporters that the previous president is unfit to return to the White Home.
“There’s no larger problem on this race than Donald Trump,” Mr. Christie mentioned, later including, “That is an indignant, bitter man who now needs to be again as president as a result of he needs to precise retribution on anybody who has disagreed with him.”
His feedback mirrored a debate technique of sharply criticizing Mr. Trump — even when the previous president is bodily absent, and even when the attacks get Mr. Christie booed by Trump supporters within the viewers.
Mr. Christie has sought a face-to-face confrontation with Mr. Trump, and he has usually expressed his frustration about having to compete in opposition to a front-runner who doesn’t wish to face his opponents in a debate.