Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie came out swinging at former President Donald Trump during the Republican presidential debate on Wednesday, and even compared him to a fictional villain.
In Christie’s first response of the debate — which took 17 minutes to get to because of a prolonged spar between Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy — Christie called out his fellow candidates for not discussing Trump.
“The fifth guy, who doesn’t have the guts to show up and stand here, he’s the one who is way ahead in the polls. And yet I’ve got these three guys who are all seeming to compete with Voldemort, he who shall not be named,” Christie said, referring to the candidates on stage.
“They don’t want to talk about him,” he continued.
Trump, who is the front-runner among the Republican candidates, has not attended any of the debates so far, and Christie has not shied away from calling him out on it.
“The fact is that when you go and you say the truth about somebody who’s a dictator, a bully, who has taken shots at everybody, whether they’ve given them great service or not over time, who dares to disagree with him, then I understand why these three are timid to say anything about him,” Christie said.
“The fact of the matter is, he is unfit to be president. And there is no bigger issue in this race than Donald Trump,” Christie said, adding that the “truth needs to be spoken.”
Christie’s comments come a day after a town hall hosted by Sean Hannity where Trump dodged questions about whether he would abuse his power in office, adding that he would only be a “dictator” on “day one” of his administration.
Ahead of the debate, Christie told NBC News that he thinks Trump “intends on being a dictator for all the days of his presidency.”