Christie urges Haley to attack Trump: ‘He’s not Voldemort’

Christie urges Haley to attack Trump: ‘He’s not Voldemort’

Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie late Thursday urged fellow GOP hopeful Nikki Haley to attack former President Trump by name.

“I just said his name out loud and lighting did not strike me. I did not fall dead of a heart of attack. I have not been poisoned by a member of his staff,” Christie said at a town hall event in New Hampshire. “But you would think when you look at the rest of the folks in this race that they fear that’s what would happen if they said his name.”

Christie, a former New Jersey governor who has become an outspoken critic of Trump, then turned his attention to Haley, a former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador, who rolled out her first ad of the GOP primary cycle earlier that day.

Haley has made gains in polling and among donors while not explicitly targeting Trump. Her advertisement said a new generation of conservative leadership is needed and “we have to leave behind the chaos and drama of the past.”

Christie questioned what she meant by leaving the “chaos and drama” in the past.

“Why not say it?” he asked, pointing to Haley and the other candidates’ refusal to call out the former president.

“He’s not Voldemort from the ‘Harry Potter’ books. He’s not ‘he who shall not be named,’” Christie said.

Christie also said by not explicitly naming or attacking the former president, Haley is trying to have it both ways.

“She doesn’t want to offend people who have supported Donald Trump,” Christie said. “So she says things like in South Carolina three days ago, [that] he was the right president at the right time. But for some reason, drama and chaos follow him wherever he goes, as if he is an innocent victim.”

Haley’s ad, which will air on broadcast, cable and digital platforms in Iowa and New Hampshire starting Friday, is part of a $10 million deal.

Her campaign has performed well with less than two months to go to the Iowa caucuses. She has jumped to second place behind Trump in New Hampshire and is tied with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for second place in Iowa, according to polling.

The Hill has reached out to the Haley campaign for comment on Christie’s latest remarks.

Updated at 8:15 a.m. ET

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