Christie lashes out at House GOP ‘embarrassment’ over speaker chaos

Chris Christie berated members of his own party for their failure to elect a Speaker of the House on Monday as the GOP enters its fourth week of chaos in the lower chamber.

The GOP presidential candidate appeared on MSNBC where he urged the chamber to pick a Republican and unify around them before the essential functions of government were threatened by the stalemate.

As of Tuesday, the Republicans seemed no closer to selecting a leader. GOP Majority Whip Tom Emmer was nominated by his caucus in a closed-door session only to see his bid begin dissolving minutes later, with more than two dozen holdouts materialising against him. Potentially his greatest opponent: Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination, who denounced Mr Emmer in a social media posting on Tuesday.

Mr Christie, who has hinged his bid for the Republican nomination on a total repudiation of the far right and Donald Trump, took aim at that chaos the evening prior.

“We’ve gone through two nominees of the party since Kevin McCarthy. It’s an embarrassment ... to the country and the party,” said Mr Christie.

“We need a House of Representatives that functions,” he added. “They should just pick a Speaker and move on.”

He did not spare Democrats from criticism, noting that the chamber’s minority had refused to vote for Mr McCarthy and save him from an intra-party rebellion of his own creation. Democrats, he argued, “contributed to the problem” and argued that they along with eight Republicans had fired Mr McCarthy “without cause”.

The New Jersey governor has seen his bid for the GOP nomination fail to pick up major momentum thanks likely in no small part due to Mr Trump’s refusal to attend Republican primary debates featuring Mr Christie and his other rivals. The former president has declared the race for the nomination a farce and wasted measure, pointing to his own clear dominance in all available polling, and has therefore declined to give his rivals an opening to attack him face-to-face in front of cameras.

Mr Christie’s campaign had clearly been engineered towards the kind of onstage showdown that made him famous in 2016, when he dismantled fellow Republican Marco Rubio onstage during a similar contest for the GOP nomination; that year, they both lost to Mr Trump.

The ex-governor continues to trail other Trump-alternatives like Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy in key early states, though several months of campaigning remain ahead of them all.