8 years ago, he backed him for governor. Now, Chris Christie endorses Allan Fung for Congress
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — It was on this day, 10 days into the month of October, in 2014 when then New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed fellow Republican Allan Fung in his bid for Rhode Island governor.
Eight years later, the former New Jersey governor is now endorsing Fung for an even bigger position — a seat in Congress.
Christie made a stop on Providence’s Federal Hill Monday during the annual Columbus Day Festival to support Fung in his run for Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District.
“We need more people like Allan Fung in Congress,” Christie told ABC 6 News in an exclusive interview. “People who are smart, who vote their principles, and will work across the aisle.”
“I want someone who’s going to go down there and listen to the other side, and try to find some common ground,” Christie added.
Many national poll watchers have recently added the 2nd congressional matchup between Fung and his Democrat challenger Seth Magaziner to a list of races to watch. Christie cites two reasons Republicans may pick up this seat: the economy and Fung himself as a candidate.
“I think it has more to do with Allan Fung, but I would also say it has to do with the times we’re in right now,” he said. “People are feeling horrible economic anxiety, they see the inflation that’s going on — how much it costs them at the supermarket, how much it costs them at the gas pump. And I think that they feel like Allan will be a common sense guy who will go down there and not just vote with leadership all the time, but will vote for what’s best for Rhode Islanders.
One of the top issues Democrats, including Magaziner, are hitting Republicans on is abortion rights following the overturning of Roe v. Wade this past Summer. Christie said he spoke with Fung on this issue and that he told him he “would never vote for a national abortion ban.”
Another concern critics of Fung raise is if he’ll stick to his brand as a moderate Republican in congress. Christie explained Republicans like Fung have a place in the party and are needed to obtain a viable majority.
He said, “We can’t become a majority-party again in this country without having Republicans from places like Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, and Connecticut, and New Hampshire, and Vermont. All throughout New England. We need to start electing Republicans to the House again. If we don’t we’re never going to have a sustainable majority.”
Christie added that the Republicans will need to compromise and work together with Democrats. He said, “I think they like being in the majority more than their opposed to compromise, I think that’ll happen,” when asked if they want to do that.
A 2016 presidential candidate for the Republicans, Christie is also making his own headlines.
During a Friday appearance on the television show “Real Time With Bill Maher,” Christie indicated he has not ruled out another run for president, looking ahead to 2024.
“I think our country wants needs someone who knows how to be tough, but also knows how to relate to independents and Democrats,” He said. “The problem with the Republican party is we’ve done a lot of losing lately. Since 2016, we lost the House, we lost the Senate, we lost the White House, we lost two winnable Senate seats in the state of Georgia. I’m tired of losing.”
Christie added, “The results of those losses are trillions of dollars in spending, higher taxes, and a situation in our country where traditional values are not being any longer enforced.”
For a timeline of when Christie will make a decision, he said, “I won’t make any decision probably until early ’23.”
Whether or not former President Donald Trump runs has “zero” influence on Christie’s plans.
He said, “I think anybody who makes a decision to run for President based on what someone else is doing should disqualified from running for president.”
Christie responded to a follow-up question on if Trump would like that or not, saying, “Well, who cares? I’ve been his friend for 21 years. I played Hillary Clinton in debate prep. I played Joe Biden in debate prep for him. I’ve worked hard for Donald Trump over time, but when he’s wrong, he’s wrong. And a guy from New Jersey calls out a guy from New York when they’re wrong.”
Neither Fung in 2014, nor Christie in 2016 won their bids in their respective races, but the two have joined forces in hopes of creating more momentum for Fung with election day less than a month away.
The latest polling has Fung leading Magaziner by six points.