Chris Christie: The Fast Facts That May Surprise You

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Chris Christie gained national attention when he was elected as the Governor of New Jersey in 2009. During his first term, he achieved legislative victories for Republicans in a traditionally Democratic-leaning state and even passed a major overhaul of New Jersey’s public employee pension system, according to The New York Times.

Here are some other facts about Chris Christie that may surprise you:

1. He Gained Recognition After Hurricane Sandy But Never Overcame The Alleged “Hug”

Chris Christie gained widespread recognition for his leadership and bipartisan cooperation in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, including his collaboration with then-President Barack Obama. 

However, Republicans criticized an alleged hug that took place between him and Obama. Christie gets teased about it to this day.

Most recently, Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy made mention of it when Christie compared him to a young Barack Obama on the debate stage. 

2. The Bridgegate Scandal

The “Bridgegate” scandal involving former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie unfolded in 2013 when Port Authority officials closed two out of three access lanes connecting Fort Lee to the George Washington Bridge, causing significant traffic delays. 

Initially attributed to a “traffic study,” it was later revealed that the lane closures were a form of political retribution against Fort Lee’s Democratic Mayor, who had not endorsed Christie’s re-election bid. Christie denied involvement and fired a staffer for lying to him, according to Mediaite

3. His Niece Had A Drunken Episode on Spirit Airlines

Chris Christie’s niece, Shannon Epstein, caused a disruptive and aggressive incident on a Spirit Airlines flight from New Orleans to New Jersey on Thanksgiving Day. Police reports indicate that Epstein displayed erratic behavior, likely due to the influence of alcohol and drugs. 

During the flight, she confronted a Latino family and made inappropriate comments, asking if they were “smuggling cocaine.” When authorities intervened to remove her from the plane, Epstein resisted aggressively, shouting phrases like, “Do you know who I am? I’m Chris Christie’s daughter,” and even claimed to know former President Donald Trump. She displayed unusual strength, leading to a physical struggle with officers, during which she bit one officer and scratched another.

As a result of her actions, Epstein was charged with multiple counts, including battery on a police officer, disturbing the peace, resisting arrest by force, and remaining after being forbidden. She was released from custody after posting bail, according to The New York Post.

4. He Had Weight Loss Surgery But Didn’t Lose a Lot Of Weight

Christie underwent secret gastric banding surgery in February 2013, and experts estimated that he had lost between 90 to 100 pounds from his 5-foot-11 frame, bringing him to around 320 pounds.

Christie chose adjustable gastric band surgery, commonly known as Lap-Band, a less invasive option that creates a small pouch in the upper stomach to restrict food intake.

Despite his successful weight loss, Christie still faced public scrutiny with concerns that his weight might affect him during the 2016 primaries. While Christie had remained relatively quiet about the procedure, experts noted that his weight loss was significant and beneficial for his health, even if he did not become thin by conventional standards, according to NBC. 

5. He Ran For President In 2016

 While Chris Christie’s 2016 presidential campaign did not gain much traction, he played a significant role in the Republican primary by effectively attacking Senator Marco Rubio during a debate. This contributed to the decline of Rubio’s campaign and helped pave the way for Donald Trump’s nomination.

6. He Is Now A Trump Critic

Although he was part of Trump’s inner circle for a while, Chris Christie has now reinvented himself as a critic of Donald Trump. 

He has called Trump “a grifter” and “an ugly, divisive, horrible figure.”

When he was asked about Trump not attending the first 2024 Republican Presidential Debate, Christie replied, “He’s scared of me,” according to Politico. 

However, his efforts to distance himself from Trump have not gained much support among Republican voters.

These facts highlight the ups and downs in Chris Christie’s political career and his evolving relationship with Donald Trump.

Rachel Emmanuel

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