Chris Christie Unleashes on Ron DeSantis for Not Meeting With Biden After Hurricane

AP Photo/Morry Gash

It looks like Republican presidential candidate and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is taking a break from attacking former President Donald Trump and has set his sights on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Christie spent his Tuesday slamming DeSantis for refusing to meet with President Joe Biden in the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia, which rocked the Sunshine State and caused tremendous levels of damage.

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Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie is ramping up attacks on his 2024 rival Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis this week.

In three separate media interviews Tuesday, the former New Jersey governor called DeSantis a "big government" Republican, torched his voting record on disaster relief and accused him of "playing politics" with President Biden's visit to Florida after Hurricane Idalia. The flurry of attacks comes as DeSantis is set to return to the campaign trail after canceling campaign events to lead the hurricane response in Florida.

Christie, who worked closely with then-President Obama in 2012 to coordinate Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts, ripped DeSantis for declining to meet Biden while the president toured areas affected by the disaster.

"He was playing politics with it, but that's his choice. I'm not the least bit surprised that that's what he chose to do," Christie said on "The Brian Kilmeade Show" Tuesday. "You're the governor of the state. President of the United States comes and you're asking the President of the United States or the Congress for significant aid, which Ron DeSantis is doing, and especially if you voted against it 10 years ago for Sandy aid, you should have been there with the president to welcome it."

"Your job as governor is to be the tour guide for the president. It's to make sure the president sees your people, sees the damage, sees the suffering, what's going on, and what's going to need to be done to rebuild it," Christie added. "And unfortunately, he put politics ahead of his job."

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Christie’s comments come as DeSantis prepares to resume his campaign after putting it on pause to deal with the disaster. But the question is: Why should DeSantis agree to meet with a man who has constantly demonized him and others on the right?

The president has not exactly been very gracious to the Florida governor over the past few years. During an event marking a national monument for Emmett Till, Biden took a subtle jab at DeSantis over Florida’s history curriculum.

“At a time when there are those who seek to ban books, bury history, we’re making clear — crystal, crystal clear — while darkness and denialism can hide much, they erase nothing,” Biden said at a White House event Tuesday establishing a national monument for Emmett Till, the Black teenager whose brutal lynching in 1955 galvanized the civil rights movement.

Biden did not mention DeSantis by name but used the occasion to draw a contrast with one of his top 2024 rivals.

“We can’t just choose to learn what we want to know. We have to learn what we should know — we should know — about our country. We should know everything — the good, the bad, the truth of who we are as a nation,” Biden said.

The president and his team have constantly derided “MAGA Republicans,” labeling them as “extremists.” They have used the label to cast people who disagree with them as dangerous bigots who are threatening “democracy.”

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DeSantis’ team said he would be too busy with security preparations and that taking time to meet with Biden could hamper recovery efforts. Despite Christie’s claim that the governor is playing politics, it seems he was avoiding politics to focus on his state’s needs.

Perhaps Christie believes going after DeSantis and Trump will bolster his campaign. The most recent FiveThirtyEight poll shows that Christie has a 51.7 percent unfavorable rating. RealClearPolitics currently has the former New Jersey governor polling at 3 percent in the primaries. If he wants to turn this around, he might want to focus more on what he brings to the table than on attacking his opponents.

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