Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Christie focuses attacks on Clinton in GOP undercard debate

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, left, and Mike Huckabee laugh during a break in the second-tier GOP presidential campaign debate.

Associated Press

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, left, and Mike Huckabee laugh during a break in the second-tier GOP presidential campaign debate.

MILWAUKEE — Relegated to the Republican undercard debate for the first time, Chris Christie focused on attacking Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton as he tried to use his performance as a springboard back into the field's top tier.

"Hillary Clinton's coming for your wallet everybody. Don't worry about Huckabee or Jindal, worry about her," he said early on in the hourlong debate.

"If you think Mike Huckabee won't be the kind of president who will cut back spending, or Chris Christie, or John Kasich, wait till you see what Hillary Clinton will do to this country," he added. "She will drown us in debt. She is the real adversary tonight."

The approach couldn't have been more different from that of an aggressive Bobby Jindal. The Louisiana governor repeatedly jabbed at Christie and his fellow Republicans, criticizing their states' economic records and accusing them of being watered-down Democrats instead of true conservatives.

"Let's not just beat Hillary," Jindal said. "Let's elect a conservative to the White House, not just any Republican."

It was a crucial moment for the two sitting governors, each trying to remain relevant in a race for the Republican presidential nomination that has favored political novices who have never held public office. They appeared with former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who was also relegated from the prime-time debate to the earlier event.

Throughout the debate, Christie kept a tight focus on Clinton on issues ranging from taxes to crime to veterans' care. He said the party's primary focus should be choosing a candidate who can beat Clinton, and said that he is uniquely qualified for the job as a "pro-life Republican" governor from a Democratic state.

"That's the person you want on the stage prosecuting the case against Hillary Clinton," he said, one of several times Christie pointed to his history as a U.S. attorney.

Coming into the debate, Christie and his backers tried to put a positive spin on his downgrade from the main stage, arguing it would give him more airtime to make his case to viewers. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina was able to use her position in the first undercard debate to catapult herself into the top-tier of candidates, and some hoped Christie might be able to bounce back.

Jindal has yet to make it onto the main debate stage, and he used his time to hammer home the argument that he was the only person on stage who had cut government spending in his state. He also took aim at Christie's record in New Jersey and Huckabee's in Arkansas.

"We've got four senators running, they've never cut anything," Jindal said. "Records matter."

Santorum, meanwhile, appeared outmaneuvered by his more aggressive rivals, despite notably raising his voice as he contrasted Republicans with Democrats.

"I respect them because they are willing to take it to us," he said.

Christie focuses attacks on Clinton in GOP undercard debate 11/10/15 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 10:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Mother of double amputee Ireland Nugent to lose her own lower right leg

    Human Interest

    Ever since Ireland Nugent lost both her lower legs in a lawn-mowing accident five years ago, the Clearwater girl has inspired her mother, Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, with the courage she has shown in overcoming the tragedy.

    Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, left, looked on as her daughter Ireland threw out the first pitch when the Tampa Bay Rays played the Houston Astros at Tropicana Field on June 22, 2014. Jerry Nugent held his daughter for the pitch. Now Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent is facing surgery to amputate her own lower right leg due to a rare infection. WILL VRAGOVIC  |  Times (2014)
  2. Chris Archer knocked out early as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Another short outing by Chris Archer led to another long afternoon for the Rays in a 9-4 loss to the Orioles on Sunday.

    Chris Archer has not gotten past four innings in four of his past five starts. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
  3. Bucs-Vikings report card: Where's this explosive offense we heard about all offseason?

    Bucs

    O NO

    True, the Bucs defense looked pretty leaky in the 34-17 loss to the Vikings. But you know what needs to happen when the defense is getting torched? The offense needs to step up. In games such as these, with defensive players seemingly getting hurt every play, the offense needs to outscore the other …

    Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) intercepts a Jameis Winston pass intended for wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Bucs-Vikings: Instant analysis from Tampa Bay's 34-17 loss

    Bucs

    MINNEAPOLIS — Here's Rick Stroud and Tom Jones' instant analysis from the Bucs' 34-17 loss at Minnesota Sunday. More to come from Rick & Tom — and Greg Auman —- from Minneapolis later today.

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright (17) dives over the pylon for a touchdown as  Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith (29) defends. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Worst-Case scenario: Case Keenum, Vikings hand Bucs 34-17 loss

    Bucs

    MINNEAPOLIS — With key defensive starters out with injury, the Bucs were dominated by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, with fill-in quarterback Case Keenum beating Tampa Bay for the third year in a row, …

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]