Christie ‘confident’ he will be on GOP debate stage

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Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said he is “confident” he will qualify for the fourth GOP primary debate next week.

“I’m confident that I’ll be on the stage for the debate,” he said in a CNN interview Friday. “Remember, these same reports were made before the last debate about [Sen.] Tim Scott [R-S.C.], that he did not appear to qualify.”

Scott went on to qualify for the third debate but dropped out of the race weeks later.

Presidential hopefuls will need to be polling at 6 percent or higher in two national polls, or at 6 percent in one early state poll from two separate “carve out” states — listed as Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — to get behind a podium, according to a release from the Republican National Committee. But which polls count for those tallies is unknown.

The only candidates that have qualified for the Dec. 6 NewsNation debate so far are Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

Christie has struggled in national polls but has focused his campaign efforts in New Hampshire. He said polls are still too early to paint a real picture of the race.

“If you look at polling over the last few cycles, you know who was winning the race in 2007 on Thanksgiving? It was Mitt Romney,” Christie said. “Who was winning the race in 2011? It was Newt Gingrich. And in 2015 it was Ben Carson.”

A staunch Trump critic, Christie said Thursday that nominating Trump could be a “death sentence” for Republicans. He’s encouraged fellow GOP candidates to go after Trump more on the campaign trail, particularly Haley.

“The death sentence is let Trump be our nominee. If Trump is our nominee, we will not only lose the presidency again, but we will lose both houses of Congress and we will lose races up and down the ticket,” Christie said in a NewsNation interview Thursday.

“And this isn’t speculation,” he continued. “It happened in ‘18. It happened in ‘20, in ‘22 and again in ‘23. He is political poison up and down the ballot.”

The Hill and NewsNation are owned by the same parent company, Nexstar Media Group.

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