New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ridiculed Marco Rubio after a Super PAC supporting the Florida Senator began running ads challenging Christie’s conservative credentials.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Christie suggested Rubio was a coward for working with Senate Democrats on the immigration reform “Gang of Eight” bill before backing away from it when it was deemed unpopular.
“The guy who advocated for amnesty and then ran away when the topic got too hot tells you two things: He’s not a reliable conservative, A, and, B, whenever it gets too hot, Marco turns tail and runs,” Christie said. “I’m not the least bit concerned that Marco Rubio will hurt me with conservatives. Marco Rubio has work himself to do with conservatives.”
Although Rubio has backed away from his previous work on the Gang of Eight immigration reform bill, he continues to support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants after the southern border is secure.
Christie suggested Rubio was a hypocrite for attacking him, citing a debate moment when the Florida Senator lectured former Florida Governor Jeb Bush for his negative campaigning.
“I just wonder what happened to the Marco who so indignantly looked at Jeb Bush and said, ‘I guess someone must have convinced you that going negative against me helps you,’” he said in an interview on Bloomberg’s With All Due Respect on Tuesday. “I guess that same person must now have convinced Marco that going negative against Chris Christie is what he needs to do.”
Conservative Solutions, the super PAC supporting Rubio, released two ads criticizing Christie’s conservative credentials, highlighting Christie’s appearance with President Obama after Hurricane Sandy and hitting him for expanding Medicaid under Obamacare.
“Chris Christie could well be Obama’s favorite Republican governor,” one ad says, highlighting Christie’s record in New Jersey. Another ad reminds voters of the “Bridgegate” scandal in New Jersey, suggesting that a potential Christie presidency would be similar.
When asked about the ads on the campaign trail, Rubio defended them as accurate.
“We can’t have another president that supports Common Core or gun control or expanding Obamacare,” he said.
But Christie argued that Rubio’s negative ads will fail.
“I just don’t think Marco Rubio’s going to be able to slime his way to the White House,” Christie said in his interview with the Post. “He wants to put out a whole bunch of negative ads? Go ahead. I hope that he will acknowledge at some point that I couldn’t care less.”
In a statement to Breitbart News, Rubio spokesperson Alex Conant fired back at Christie for attacking a conservative instead of defending his own record.
“It’s interesting that Gov. Christie would rather attack conservatives than defend his own record supporting common core, gun control and expanding Obamacare. If Christie was honestly ‘telling it like it is’, he would say there is nothing inaccurate about the new ads and stop attacking Marco.”