Republican presidential contender Chris Christie boasted about his fighting skills in a hypothetical matchup against Donald Trump, whether it be on the campaign trail or in a UFC Octagon.
The former New Jersey governor made the remarks on “Piers Morgan Uncensored” on Talk TV.
“I would kick his ass.”
Chris Christie boasts about taking down Trump if they ever got into a UFC fight. pic.twitter.com/ke79mRzED3
— Becker News (@NewsBecker) July 16, 2023
“If you and Trump got in the ring, he loves his UFC and stuff like that, right? If you got in the octagon, you and him, who’d win?” Morgan asked. “Come on.”
“Guy’s 78 years old. I’d kick his ass,” Christie said with a laugh.
“I mean, we know that Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg apparently going to get in,” Morgan remarked.
“Yeah, I can’t wait for that,” Christie said.
“One: Do you want, do you want to be on the…”
“Did you see that picture of Zuckerberg?” Christie interjected. “Pretty buff. If I were Elon, I’d be a little bit worried.”
“But I mean, would you prepare, be prepared to be on the undercard you against Trump?” Piers queried.
“Look, I’ll fight Donald Trump anywhere he wants, in any in arena,” Christie replied. “He wants whether it’s on a debate stage or in the octagon.”
“He’s mocked your weight,” Piers noted. “Trump.”
“Yeah. Look at him. Arnold Schwarzenegger,” he jested. “I mean, for goodness sakes. Come on.”
“Here’s the, here’s the bottom line, Piers,” he went on. “I, you know, for the last 30 years I’ve struggled with my weight. Like tens of millions of Americans struggle with their weight and there are times where I do well and there are times when I don’t do very well. And it’s a struggle. And for him to be such a child, an infant, and make those kind of remarks, especially I guess when he’s staying up in Bedminster, New Jersey, there are no mirrors where he is because all he needs to do is look at himself and what he should do first work on himself. Then when he gets himself, because, you know, he wears those ties, you know, eight feet long…”
“Those long ties, yeah,” Piers added.
“Yeah, eight feet long,” Christie went on. “Because he told me this because they slenderizing him. Let me tell you. Fail.”
Christie’s tough-guy messaging squares with a recent 60-second ad that paints his presidential rival as a ‘coward’ for not committing to primary debates.
“If you don’t go, you’ll be called a coward, a chicken — reduced to throwing spitballs from the sidelines,” the ad’s narrator says. “So, Donald, you need to decide, are you a chicken or just a loser?”
The ad comes from “Tell It Like It Is PAC,” Christie’s super political action committee. According to Bloomberg News, the PAC “has reserved about $122,000 in ad time, mostly online and in the first primary election state of New Hampshire, according to ad-tracking firm AdImpact.” The Christie campaign told Bloomberg on Saturday that the PAC and campaign had raised “a combined $7.5 million in the second quarter.”
Trump has explained that he might skip the primary debates because he doesn’t want to give his opponents a platform.
“So you’re leading people by 50 and 60 points, and you say, why would you be doing a debate?” Trump said in an interview on Fox News’s Sunday Morning Futures. “It’s actually not fair. Why would you let somebody that’s at zero or at one or two or three be popping you with questions?”
Donald Trump had earlier mocked the former New Jersey governor for allegedly being ‘low energy,’ while sharing a photo of Christie asleep on an airline flight.
Living rent free in Donald’s head.
Make me a permanent resident.
— Chris Christie (@GovChristie) June 30, 2023
“Living rent free in Donald’s head,” Christie remarked, while appealing to the audience and asking for campaign donations. “Make me a permanent resident.”
The Republican primary is devolving into UFC-style theatrics at a time when the country is facing dire national challenges. But the macho banter in American politics is nothing new.
In 2019, then presidential candidate Joe Biden challenged Donald Trump to a push-up contest in an alleged show of manliness.
“I would say, ‘Come on Donald, come on man. How many push-ups do you want to do here, pal?’ Jokingly,” Biden said in an interview with MSNBC. “You know, come on, run with me man.”
During the 2024 campaign, Trump has made multiple appearances at Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events. He has shown himself publicly with entertainers and athletes like Mike Tyson, Kid Rock, Mel Gibson, Joe Rogan, and Guy Fieri, in addition to being tight with UFC president Dana White.
Trump’s recent appearance at UFC 290 served as a reminder of his deep connections to MMA and the UFC, indicating that the promotion will likely play a significant role in his upcoming campaign. UFC fighters went out of their way during the fight to shake hands and interact with the former president.
— Dan Scavino Jr.🇺🇸🦅 (@DanScavino) July 9, 2023
As the Bloody Elbow explains, Trump’s courting of UFC fighters and ‘alpha male’ influencers on the campaign trail is an inroad to young male voters.
“Doing non-traditional media and showing up to major cultural events like UFC fights allows former President Trump to hit a completely different audience than doing an interview on Fox News or other political media. He’s putting himself in front of people who are far less politically engaged and don’t necessarily have a baked-in view of him,” said Republican strategist Andy Surabian.
A UFC fight between Trump and Christie would be the kind of draw that would capture the imagination of younger, male, working-class Americans. Whether or not Chris Christie would kick Trump’s “***” — in the octagon or on a debate stage — is a matter that could only be settled in a man-to-man showdown.