Chris Christie chided members of his own party for failing to elect a Speaker of the House on Monday as the GOP enters its fourth week of chaos in the lower chamber.
The GOP presidential nominee appeared on MSNBC where he urged Congress to pick a Republican and rally around him before the government's core functions are threatened by the impasse.
As of Tuesday, Republicans appeared no closer to choosing a leader. GOP Majority Whip Tom Emmer was nominated by his caucus in a closed-door meeting only to see his bid begin to unravel minutes later, with more than 2 dozen running against him. Possibly his biggest rival: Donald Trump, the front-runner for the 2024 Republican nomination, who denounced Mr Emmer in a social media post on Tuesday.
Mr. Christie, who has based his bid for the Republican nomination on a complete repudiation of the far right and Donald Trump, took aim at this mess last night.
“We've been through two party candidates since Kevin McCarthy. It's a shame… for the country and the party,” Mr Christie said.
“We need a functioning House of Representatives,” he added. “They should just pick a speaker and move on.”
He did not spare the Democrats criticism, noting that the minority in the chamber had refused to vote for Mr. McCarthy and save him from an insurgency of his own making. Democrats, he argued, “contributed to the problem” and argued that he and eight Republicans had fired Mr. McCarthy “without cause.”
The New Jersey governor has seen his bid for the GOP nomination fail to build much momentum, likely due to Trump's refusal to attend Republican primary debates with Christie and his other rivals. The former president declared the race for the nomination a farce and a lost measure, showing his own clear dominance in all available polls, and therefore refused to give his opponents the right to attack him face to face in front of the cameras.
Mr. Christie's campaign was clearly designed toward the kind of on-stage showdown that made him famous in 2016, when he dismantled Republican Marco Rubio on stage during a similar contest for the GOP nomination. that year, both lost to Mr. Trump.
The former governor continues to trail other Trump alternatives such as Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy in key early states, though several months of campaigning remain ahead of them all.