N.J. Governor Chris Christie endorses Donald Trump at Fort Worth rally

By Clayton Youngman

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump brought new insults and a surprise endorsement to Fort Worth.
Trump held a rally at the Fort Worth Convention Center on Friday ahead of the Texas primary vote on March 1. The biggest news from the event came before Trump even took the stage: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie told the thousands in attendance that he was endorsing Trump for president.
“We shook hands [and] we said, ‘Let’s keep it as a secret for the people in Texas,” Trump said.

Christie dropped out of the Republican presidential race on Feb. 10 after a poor performance in New Hampshire. Trump has won three of four Republican contests so far in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.
Christie dismissed questions about a potential vice presidential bid.
“I am the governor of the state of New Jersey until January 19 of 2018,” Christie said. “And I have every expectation that I will fulfill the end of my term.”

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    Both Trump and Christie devoted significant portions of their speeches to bashing Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who went hard at Trump in last night’s CNN Republican Presidential Debate.
    “President of the United States is not a no-show job like you treated the United States Senate,” Christie said.
    Trump spoke extensively of Rubio’s demeanor on stage and behind the scenes. Trump also said Rubio is “really, really weak on illegal immigration.”
    “He’s a nasty guy,” Trump said. “He’s a choker.”

    But Trump didn’t just bash Rubio. He also took shots at former Florida governor Jeb Bush — whose $150 million campaign was “a waste of money” — and Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee for president.
    Romney ran “one of the worst campaigns in the history of politics,” Trump said. “He should have beaten [President Barack Obama] easily.”

    The remainder of Trump’s speech was a rehash of his campaign to this point. He talked about building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, deporting illegal immigrants, self-funding his campaign, ending Common Core, protecting the right to own and carry guns, and fighting terrorism.
    “The American dream is dead, and we’re going to make it stronger than ever before,” Trump said.

    At one point, Trump was interrupted by a group of protesters shouting in the crowd. The group, holding signs that read “Make America Hate Again,” was removed from the crowd by security.
    “Is that a protest? Oh good, I love protesters,” Trump said. “The only reason they turn the cameras is if there’s a protest. I’m going to develop my own protesters.”
    Robert Jeffress, head pastor at First Baptist Dallas, spoke to Christians at the rally about why they should support Trump.
    “He has 10 billion reasons he doesn’t have to do this, but he does it because he wants to make America great again,” Jeffress said. He also said he talked to Trump about abortion, who Jeffress said is “truly pro-life.”

    Trump followed Jeffress by saying, “Christianity is under siege.”
    “Every year, it gets weaker and weaker and weaker,” Trump said. “We’re going to say ‘Merry Christmas’ now on Christmas.”
    Texans will cast their votes for the Republican presidential nominee on March 1. Texas will take part in one of 14 national contests to take part in a primary or caucus on what is known as Super Tuesday.
    Trump is currently tied with Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the Lone Star State, according to a WFAA/Channel 8 poll.
    “Texas has a big role to play on Tuesday,” Christie said to the Fort Worth audience. “Is Texas going to be Trump country?”