‘It’s over if you don’t win Georgia:’ Chris Christie on ‘Ruthless’ podcast

The former New Jersey governor also praised Brian Kemp’s 2022 reelection bid as ‘masterful.’
Gov. Brian Kemp claims victory in re-election campaign
Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 11:41 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 20, 2023 at 4:29 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie said Republicans cannot win back the White House without winning Georgia in 2024.

Appearing on the most recent Ruthless podcast, Christie also praised Gov. Brian Kemp’s 2022 reelection bid as “masterful.”

“It’s over if you don’t win Georgia,” Christie said. “Look, I know there’s a way you can get to 270 without Georgia as a Republican. But if you win those other states, you would have won Georgia because there’s a lot of similar dynamics. To me, Georgia is the very best example.”

Christie also said he predicted Kemp would win Georgia’s Republican gubernatorial primary over former U.S. senator David Perdue, who had the strong endorsement of former President Donald Trump. Christie also said he predicted Kemp would defeat Democrat Stacey Abrams, who had been seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party.

“I know what an incumbent governor can do when he’s smart and he’s motivated to shape a race for reelection,” Christie said. “And Brian Kemp was masterful. He took (former Georgia governor Sonny) Perdue off the field and made him chancellor of the higher education system, which prevented him being involved in partisan politics.”

Christie also credited Kemp for giving bonuses to teachers and suspending the gas tax. “I remember hearing from the (David) Perdue folks, saying, ‘Well, this is complicated.’ No, no, no. That sounds like the girl who broke up with me in high school and when I asked her why, she said, ‘It’s complicated.’ It’s never complicated. The Trump dynamic here is that he is unelectable in a general election because of what he’s done.”

This past weekend, Kemp continued warning his Republican Party to “not look in the rearview mirror” as the 2024 presidential election nears, a veiled reference to Trump.

Kemp, as reported by CNN, told donors at a private, Saturday GOP retreat in Nashville “not a single swing voter in a single swing state will vote for our nominee if they choose to talk about the 2020 election being stolen.”

On Sunday, Kemp appeared on State of the Union with Jake Tapper, and pushed back on Tapper’s assertion Georgia is a purple state in the wake of recent Democratic successes.

“Georgia is slightly red state, and the message I gave Saturday was pretty simple: we have to tell people what we’re for, we have to be focused on the future, and we have to win,” Kemp said. “We cannot get distracted. If we get distracted by all of these things like the Democrats want us to do such as investigations, that only helps Biden.”

Kemp’s remarks come in the wake of a poll released last Friday, showing Trump is a heavy favorite in Georgia to win the 2024 Republican nomination.

Kemp did not say if he believed Trump is unelectable in Georgia, and stressed that is something voters will decide.

“The road to the White House is coming through Georgia as well as two or three other states,” Kemp said. “If we focus on the border, 40-year-high inflation, and our standing around the world, we have a great chance of winning the White House in 2024.”

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