Christie Angry DeSantis Refused Biden Photo Op – Republicans Recall His ‘Cringeworthy’ Obama Hug
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie joined the rank-and-file of the left-wing pundit class this week, attacking Governor Ron DeSantis over his refusal to participate in a photo op with Joe Biden. DeSantis has focused on leading Florida’s response after Hurricane Idalia made landfall last week, announcing Tuesday that 96 percent of power had been restored and 400,000 meals had been distributed.
Christie, however, accused DeSantis of playing politics by refusing a meeting with Biden amid the state’s recovery.
“He was playing politics with it, but that’s his choice,” Christie said on ‘The Brian Kilmeade Show’ Tuesday. “I’m not the least bit surprised that that’s what he chose to do.”
Christie–who is currently running for President against DeSantis–told Kilmeade that the primary responsibility of a governor “is to be the tour guide for the president” and said DeSantis was not doing enough to “rebuild” his state. Christie’s remarks echoed comments by ex-Republicans Adam Kinzinger and Joe Walsh this week.
Media is mad DeSantis wouldn't meet with Biden because they wanted Biden to give DeSantis a hug, a hug that he couldn't have turned down without looking like a jerk
They wanted an Obama-Christie moment because it would hurt DeSantis
DeSantis focused on his job, not a photo op https://t.co/jJmjjoXS68
— T🦅🇺🇸🐊 (@Floridagirl0850) September 3, 2023
After the Florida Governor’s office announced Friday that DeSantis would not meet with Biden in the wake of Idalia, several commentators recalled President Barack Obama’s visit to New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. ‘The Gateway Pundit’ said that DeSantis had dodged a “Christie-sized mistake” by refusing the meeting, referencing the hug and praise Christie gave Obama just before the 2012 election.
“Who can forget the cringeworthy Chris Christie moment in the aftermath of the Hurricane Sandy disaster that devastated New Jersey when Christie hugged Obama,” said writer Margaret Flavin.
“Christie also lavished praise on Obama thanking him for his leadership saying, ‘I can’t thank the President enough.’ Obama went on to win reelection soon after.”
The moment was referenced during last month’s GOP primary debate when Christie sparred on stage with Vivek Ramaswamy. In response to being called an “amateur,” Ramaswamy told Christie,
“Give me a hug just like you did to Obama and you’ll help elect me just like you did to Obama”
Why did DeSantis refuse to meet with Biden?
He refused to let Biden do to him what Obama did to Christie! pic.twitter.com/Q8gO5u9YNB
— Sterling Archer (@ShawnMcElhinney) September 4, 2023
President Biden traveled to Florida over the weekend, touring the hurricane-affected areas and meeting with the press. The White House had reportedly planned for Biden to meet with the Florida Governor, but DeSantis Press Secretary Jeremy Redfern said Friday that no such meeting would happen.
“In these rural communities, and so soon after impact, the security preparations alone that would go into setting up such a meeting would shut down ongoing recovery efforts,”
While DeSantis continued meeting with first responders and leading recovery efforts, Biden arranged a press conference in one hurricane-damaged area. There, he lectured residents about global warming, pushed for more money to fight climate change, and claimed that “nobody intelligent can deny the impact of the climate crisis anymore.”
Idalia made landfall on Wednesday as a Category 3 hurricane. It swept through the Big Bend region with winds up to 125 mph. Recovery efforts have been ongoing, with power restored to over 400,000 accounts.
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