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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (NewsNation) — Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he’s still in the Republican presidential race because he’s the only person willing to take on former President Donald Trump, who he called a “dictator” and a “bully.”
“I’m in this race because the truth needs to be spoken, [Trump] is unfit,” Christie said during the fourth Republican presidential debate Wednesday. “There is no bigger issue in this race than Donald Trump and [the polls] prove it.”
Christie criticized Trump’s comments earlier this week, in which the former president suggested he wouldn’t be a dictator “except for day one” if re-elected.
“This is an angry, bitter man who now wants to be back as president because he wants to exact retribution on anyone who has disagreed with him, anyone who has tried to hold him to account for his own conduct,” Christie said.
When asked about his tepid poll numbers, which currently show him in last place among the major GOP candidates, Christie stood his ground.
“It’s often very difficult to be the only person on the stage who’s telling the truth and the only person who is taking on what needs to be taken on,” he said.
A recent NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ poll showed Christie polling around 3% among Republicans. But that hasn’t deterred him from serving what he sees as an important role in the race: holding Trump accountable.
The former New Jersey governor blasted his GOP opponents over their reluctance to criticize Trump.
“I’ve got these three guys who are all seeming to compete with Voldemort, he who shall not be named. They don’t want to talk about it,” he said.
Christie suggested that his opponents may have future political aspirations that are keeping them from criticizing the former president.
“[Trump] has taken shots at everybody — whether they’ve given him great service or not over time — who dares to disagree with him. I understand why these three are timid to say anything about it,” he said.