(The Hill) — Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Sunday said former President Donald Trump’s endorsements in the upcoming midterm elections will not be “determinative.”
Asked by anchor George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week” what role Trump’s endorsements will play in November’s midterm races, Christie said they will “always be a factor” because of the ex-president’s influence in the Republican Party but argued that they will not always determine the outcomes.
“It will always be a factor because the former president has influence inside the party, but I don’t believe his endorsements will be determinative,” Christie said.
Trump has endorsed a number of GOP candidates running in November, most recently throwing his support behind “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance in Ohio’s Republican primary for Senate.
The endorsement came after much anticipation in the Buckeye State, where a number of Republicans are vying for the GOP nomination.
Trump has also endorsed Mehmet Oz in the Pennsylvania Senate race and Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) in North Carolina’s Senate race.
Additionally, Trump is supporting former Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) in Georgia’s GOP primary for governor. The former president’s political action committee recently transferred $500,000 to a group working to oust incumbent Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R).
Christie on Sunday said he was surprised by the contribution but said the funds will not make a difference in an already expensive race.
“It did surprise me a lot and — but it’s only $500,000, so it’s not gonna do anything in a race where they’re spending tens of millions,” he said.
The ex-New Jersey governor pointed to remarks from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in saying that Republicans must nominate candidates who can attract support from the general electorate.
“McConnell is right at core, that if Republicans don’t nominate folks who can appeal to the general electorate then all this momentum will be stunted in those states,” Christie said.
“If they pick the right people, then none of the momentum will be stunted,” he added.
Christie’s comments come more than six months out from the November midterm elections when Republicans are looking to pick up seats and possible control of both chambers. The GOP needs to flip five seats red to take control of the House, while a 50-50 split in the Senate means they need to flip just one seat there.
Christie’s name has been floated as a potential GOP candidate in the 2024 presidential election. He has said that he will not defer to Trump when deciding whether to launch a bid for the White House in the next cycle.
Trump has not firmly indicated if he plans on mounting another bid for a second term.