Former Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger said that Donald Trump is avoiding the GOP primary debate scheduled for Wednesday, partly due to his fear of facing off against former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Kinzinger, currently serving as a senior political commentator on CNN, expressed his view on “The Situation Room,” stating that Trump appears to be genuinely afraid of Chris Christie.
“Donald Trump is a coward. He’s scared to death of Chris Christie,” said Kinzinger. “I think Chris Christie is gonna wipe the floor with him, and I think that’s what he’s afraid of.”
Kinzinger also criticized Trump’s decision to skip the debate, considering that Trump’s absence after losing the presidency in 2020 reflects poorly on the Republican Party’s recent performance.
“The Republicans have done nothing but lose since Donald Trump, and so I think if he’s gonna ask for their vote, he needs to come in front of them again and explain why, this time, instead of being a loser, he’ll be a winner. But he’s not gonna do it,” the Illinois Republican said.
Other commentators share a similar perspective. Joe Scarborough from MSNBC previously commented that Trump would lack the courage or confidence to share the stage with Chris Christie, given Christie’s history as a formidable prosecutor.
However, Joe Walsh, a former congressman who left the Republican Party, disagreed with Kinzinger’s analysis.
“I agree with my friend Adam Kinzinger that Donald Trump is a coward. Completely. But Trump isn’t afraid of Chris Christie. Not at all. Christie is no threat to Trump, and Trump knows it,” Walsh wrote on X (Twitter). “Trump isn’t skipping the debate bcuz he’s afraid. He’s skipping the debate bcuz he has to be THE story. And he thinks he’ll be a much bigger story if he’s not there.”
I agree with my friend Adam Kinzinger that Donald Trump is a coward. Completely. But Trump isn’t afraid of Chris Christie. Not at all. Christie is no threat to Trump, and Trump knows it. Trump isn’t skipping the debate bcuz he’s afraid. He’s skipping the debate bcuz he has to be… https://t.co/PLoNNbZ1yp
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) August 22, 2023
In a recent poston Truth Social, Trump stated that he would not attend the upcoming debate or any others, asserting, “The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!”
Additionally, multiple news outlets reported that Trump had pre-recorded an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, which will be broadcast as an alternative to the debate.
Despite his withdrawal from the debates, Trump maintains a significant lead over his closest competitors in the 2024 race. Chris Christie, once aligned with Trump but now a vocal critic, garners support from approximately 3% of survey participants, according to the average of polling data compiled by RealClearPolitics.