A testy Chris Christie reminded George Stephanopoulos of his political “operative” past on Monday, hitting the Good Morning America co-host for bringing up the New Jersey governor’s low poll ratings. The former aide to Bill Clinton quizzed, “You have invested so much time and money in New Hampshire, though...still in sixth place, if you can't win there, where can you win?”
An annoyed Christie retorted, “I know that as a former operative, you're obsessed with the polls. I know you are. But I also know that when you working for Bill Clinton in 1992, everybody told him the night before the New Hampshire primary, he was going to be in single digits and was finished.”
He continued, “And the next day, he came in second place and his campaign went on to win the nomination. So, let's remember a little history George, that you were a part of.”
More recently, Stephanopoulos donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation, keeping it secret from his viewers and bosses at ABC.
A transcript is below:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's bring in Governor Chris Christie right now, governor of New Jersey. Got great reviews for that debate performance on Saturday, Governor Christie. But you just saw that poll, the latest tracking poll. Still has you down in sixth place. Are you worried that you hurt Marco Rubio, but not helped yourself?
CHRIS CHRISTIE: Absolutely not, George. What’s going to happen is this race is now wide open. No one knows what's really going on in this race at all. And we sense real momentum on the ground for us and we're looking to run right through the tape on Tuesday and really do very, very well.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You called— You hit him so hard on Saturday night, called him the anointed one yesterday. Made the clear case that he's not ready to be president. Can you say the same thing about front-runner Donald Trump?
CHRISTIE: Listen, my focus on Saturday night is Marco Rubio. The senator's first-term United States senator. The fact is, that he's never accomplished anything of any note in the United States Senate. In fact, one of the accomplishments he noted, he wasn’t even there to vote for. But this is not about me or him, George. It's about the American people. We elected ,seven years ago, a president who, you know, a first-term United States senator. Never run anything in his life and we have watched our country go downhill the last seven years. We don't need to repeat the same mistake. My experience, being tested in my state Hurricane Sandy, by a Democratic legislature, best prepares me to be President of the United States.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, you have invested so much time and money in New Hampshire, though, as I said, still in sixth place. If you can't win there, where can you win?
CHRISTIE: George, you know, I know that as a former operative, you’re obsessed with the polls. I know you are. But I also know that when you working for Bill Clinton in 1992, everybody told him the night before the New Hampshire primary he was going to be in single digits and was finished. And the next day, he came in second place and his campaign went on to win the nomination. So, let's remember a little history George, that you were a part of. This is not about the polls this morning. It's about the performance on Saturday night and it’s always ab out the performance of the candidates. We performed. We showed people we're ready to be president. But more importantly we're ready to take on Hillary Clinton. And what Republican primary voters have to ask themselves today is who would they want to have on that stage in September debating against Hillary Clinton after watching Saturday night’s performance? Me or Senator Rubio?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Almost half can still change their minds in this final 24 hours. What’s your message to them?
CHRISTIE: My message to them is we cannot afford to lose to Hillary Clinton. You need someone who's tough enough, tested enough, mature enough, ready enough to make sure we can beat Hillary Clinton. And then get to the White House to change the direction of our country. This is not about voting for anyone else than the person who can best win this race and then best serve as President I think when people watched Saturday night, I’ll tell you one person who I’m sure was watching who wants nothing to do with me in September and that's Secretary Clinton. So, we're ready to have the fight. Let's win up here in New Hampshire and let's move on from there to get the nomination and take on Secretary Clinton.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Christie, thanks for you time this morning.