GOP presidential candidate and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday rejected a comparison of former President Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results and former Vice President Al Gore’s legal challenges in the 2000 vote, noting that eventually Gore conceded when rebuffed by the courts.
Harvard University law professor and The Hill opinion contributor Alan Dershowitz had argued to Fox News ahead of Monday’s release of the Georgia indictment against Trump that the former president’s actions in challenging the election results in the state were “very similar” to those of Gore during the Florida recount, which ultimately decided the 2000 presidential race for George W. Bush.
Fox News host Bill Hemmer asked Christie, one of Trump’s most vocal GOP critics, about Dershowitz’s argument that the same tactics were used for Gore’s challenge in Florida.
“Except when Al Gore lost his legal challenges, he conceded the election,” Christie said. “Al Gore took it all the way to the United States Supreme Court. He availed himself of all the legal challenges.”
He said Gore disagreed with the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision that ended the Florida recount and declared Bush the winner in the state and the election overall, but he backed off after the ruling was released.
Christie said he told Trump in December 2020 — “the last time that he and I spoke” — that he had used up the legal avenues available to him.
“There’s nothing left. You need to concede the election,” Christie said he told the then-president.
But he said Trump responded: “I will never, ever, ever admit it.”
“Well, look, if you’re gonna continue to use the power of the presidency, which he was doing, to put pressure on people, you’re gonna put yourself in a very dangerous circumstance,” Christie said.
Trump was charged late Monday with 13 counts over his alleged efforts to overturn the results of Georgia’s election, including racketeering, solicitation of violation of an oath by a public officer and various conspiracy charges. A dozen-and-a-half other individuals involved in the efforts have also been charged in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s investigation.
One of the most notable moments of Trump’s attempts to change the election result was his phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), in which he asked for help to “find” 11,780 votes, enough for him to flip the state.
Christie said Trump’s conduct must not be normalized.
“This has never happened before in this country ever, where you had a candidate for president of the United State conduct himself in this way, to disrespect the election process in this way, to refuse to accept the verdict of the voters. What does that say about his judgement?” he asked.