Election 2024

In CNN Town Hall, Chris Christie Says Neither Joe Biden Nor Donald Trump Should Ever Be President Again

Plus: Democrats might try to block the PGA Tour/LIV Golf merger, the author of Eat, Pray, Love has self-canceled her next book, and more...


Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, slammed former President Donald Trump over his handling of classified documents, saying that Trump—who is facing 37 felony charges—has no one to blame but himself.

"He has shown himself, particularly in his post-presidency, to be completely self-centered, completely self-consumed, and doesn't give a damn about the American people, if what the American people want isn't best for him," said Christie.

Christie made these remarks during a CNN town hall with Anderson Cooper on Monday night. Christie is seeking the 2024 Republican nomination for the presidency; during his remarks, he laid into Trump, the frontrunner, as well as other rivals for the nomination—including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis—who have failed to condemn the actions of the former president.

"He's angry and he's vengeful," Christie said of Trump. "And he said 'I will be your retribution.' He wants retribution for himself. I'm convinced that if he goes back to the White House, the next four years will be all about him settling scores."

Christie said that he agreed with former Attorney General William Barr that the Department of Justice's case against Trump was strong; he emphasized that Trump could have easily avoided prosecution by returning the documents at any point prior to the raid on Mar-a-Lago.

When Cooper asked Christie why he thought Trump had kept the documents, he chalked it up to "vanity run amok, ego run amok."

Thus far, Republican primary voters have shown very little indication that they wish to part ways with Trump, their standard-bearer for the past eight years. The very conservative voters who comprise the GOP's base view Trump extremely favorably.

They don't tend to feel the same about Christie. According to The New York Times:

For the most part, Mr. Christie, who announced his campaign last week, has tried to reintroduce himself to the nation as the Republican candidate most willing to forcefully confront Mr. Trump.

But Mr. Christie, who ran a short-lived campaign for president in 2016, has gained little traction in available polling this year and has a more unfavorable rating among Republican voters than any other candidate, according to a recent Monmouth University poll. And he occupies a relatively lonely lane. Most of the other 2024 hopefuls have shied away from much direct criticism of Mr. Trump.

"It was like he was Voldemort from 'Harry Potter'—nobody wanted to mention his name," he said of a recent Republican campaign event, adopting a mocking voice. "Like, say his name, man, say his name."

For Christie to have a chance at the nomination, he must persuade Republicans that it's time to throw Trump overboard—something they were not inclined to do after the 2018 midterms…or the 2020 election…or January 6…and so on.


Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, has decided to self-cancel. Her forthcoming novel, The Snow Forest, takes place in Siberia and concerns a Russian family fleeing Soviet tyranny during the mid-1900s. It was slated to be released in February 2024.

But Gilbert has opted to self-cancel, saying in a statement that it is "not time for the book to be published." Why?

Russia's war in Ukraine, apparently. Gilbert had evidently heard from Ukrainian readers expressing "anger, sorrow, disappointment, and pain about the decision that I would choose to release a book right now … set in Russia."

This is absurd. Setting a fictional story in Russia is not in any way, shape, or form an endorsement of Vladimir Putin's behavior. It does not harm Ukraine, or show a lack of sympathy for the Ukrainian cause. Anyone demanding that right-thinking people cease to celebrate Russian art, history, culture, and music is undermining the exact cosmopolitan values they claim are under attack by Putin.

Gilbert's self-flagellation is reminiscent of the orchestras that stopped performing Tchaikovsky in response to the Russian invasion. No one is better off because of this.


Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D–Conn.) is probing the impending merger between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, which is backed by the monarchy of Saudi Arabia. The two organizations had previously been at odds, with LIV Golf accusing the PGA Tour of anti-competitive behavior.

But last week, the two organizations abruptly agreed to a merger that would end all pending litigation. Given Saudi Arabia's appalling record on human rights and civil liberties, the deal has infuriated many PGA players and fans.

And now Blumenthal is making it his business, too. CNBC reports:

The June 6 merger announcement was a "sudden and drastic reversal of a position concerning LIV Golf," wrote Blumenthal, who chairs the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The Tour and its commissioner had previously spoken out strongly against LIV and its role in professional golf.

Meanwhile, the Saudi government's Private Investment Fund, which owns LIV, had made clear plans to use investments in sports to further the Saudi government's objectives, according to Blumenthal's letter.

"PGA Tour's agreement with PIF regarding LIV Golf raises concerns about the Saudi government's role in influencing this effort and the risks posed by a foreign government entity assuming control over a cherished American institution," Blumenthal wrote.

If people wish to express qualms about Saudi Arabia's repressive government becoming more involved in U.S. golf, they have the right to do so. But this is not the federal government's business. Moreover, both Republicans and Democrats have courted favor with Saudi Arabia; former President Donald Trump maintained close ties with the Saudis, and President Joe Biden fist-bumped Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a visit to the country last year.

The federal government is allowed to turn a blind eye to Saudi abuses, but not professional golf? Please.


  • Donald Trump will appear in a Miami court on Tuesday for his arraignment. (He's also apparently struggling to find a qualified Florida attorney to represent him.)
  • Sen. Tim Scott (R–S.C.) now calls the Trump indictment a "serious matter."
  • Human remains have been found at the site of the I-95 bridge collapse.
  • Inflation appears to be cooling.
  • Pat Sajak, who has hosted Wheel of Fortune for the last 40 years, plans to retire.