On Super Tuesday when a dozen states, many of then in the south, hold primaries, the first stop of the day out of New York City for Donald John Trump was a fly-in campaign rally in Columbus Ohio. Held in the same airplane hanger at the Columbus Airport that Mitt Romney used in 2012 in the last weeks of the race between he and Obama as both crisscrossed Ohio with campaign events, Donald J. Trump stepped off Trump Force One with a big friend by his side.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who bowed out of the Republican race for president after he finished back in the pack in New Hampshire a couple weeks ago, was the warm-up act for Trump. Like Ohio Gov. Kasich did to introduce himself to Granite State voters in more than one hundred events, Gov. Christie spent considerable time at town hall meetings, but it didn’t pay off for him. After bowing out, others candidates, including John Kasich, sought Christie’s endorsement. To the surprise of many, Christie jumped on the Trump bandwagon.
Christie has defended his endorsement of Republican front-runner Trump, saying the New York real estate mogul has the best chance of any remaining candidate to beat Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. He’s also said that his endorsement of Trump wasn’t part of any deal he made with the best deal maker of them all to secure a potential Cabinet position. And while Christie says he disagrees with Trump on some issues, they are in agreement on tax and job-creation issues.
Revving up the 5,000-plus crowd who came from near and far to be at the fly-in event, Christie spent about three minutes throwing Trump chum to the thousands who turned out on a cloudy day to see another Trump performance. “We need strength in the Oval Office, and we need to get rid of this hand-wringing weak president,” he opened up with, adding the refrain, “and we’ll do it with Donald Trump.” America needs a president who will again stand up for Americans, put them back to work and create wealth, he said, taking a swing at Democrats who he said have failed us. “Donald Trump will help American get great again,” he said, the crowd roaring with approval at the mention of Trump’s campaign theme, “Make America Great Again.”
“We need someone who means what he says and says what he means, and we know who that person is, Donald J. Trump.” The date for the 2016 Ohio primary is the 15th, so Christie asked Ohio to get ready for what he expects to come from Trump challengers, including John Kasich, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. “In the next two weeks his desperate opponents will say and do anything to try and tear him down, but you know the truth, the strongest in the race is Donald J. Trump”
Swiping at Florida Sen. Marco Rubio as he’s done daily since the last televised Republican debate, Christie again said Rubio is desperate, maybe more so because polling shows Trump beating Rubio in his home state primary on March 15.
Outsider credentials seem prized this election cycle, so waging war against Washington is always a good tactic. Christie took advantage, saying “Washington DC has betrayed you and betrayed this country, and we need someone to go down there and turn it upside down, and that person is Donald J. Trump.”
He next topic was Washington politicians, who he said lie every time their lips move. And the biggest Washington politician of them all, he said, is Hillary Clinton. “Here we come!”
Donald Trump, standing with Trump Force One as his backdrop, went through his normal stump speech topics, including ridiculing Sen. Rubio, praising the police, talking about winning so much Americans will get tired of it, and how he’ll be the best job creator God ever created. He talked about allowing churches to get involved with politics without fear of the IRS attacking their non-profit tax status and said suing media for reporting that’s false should be allowed.
Christie went after Hillary Clinton first, but Donald Trump said he’s just started on her. What he did say about Hillary sounded strangely similar to what he said about Jeb Bush, that the former two-term governor of Florida was “low energy.”
He said Hillary Clinton doesn’t have the energy or the stamina to be president.
Trump campaign officials said Trump would end his day in Florida at his Mar-a-Lago mansion estate in Palm Beach.