With former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie expected to announce his own bid for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, Fox News host Sean Hannity openly questioned whether he’d provide him a platform.
“…you’re only getting in this race ’cause you hate Donald Trump…”
(Video: Fox News)
Suggestions from the former president that Fox News was overtly backing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis were nowhere to be seen during Friday’s “Hannity” as the eponymous host discussed the race with fellow network host Will Cain and columnist Joe Concha.
Before leaning fully into his position on Christie, Hannity tempered his position by claiming, “I have no problem giving air time to any of the candidates who want to come on and give their point of view.”
“But I’m looking at Chris Christie — he left office as governor of New Jersey, 13 percent approval rating, 14 percent in another poll, and I’m looking at this and I’m saying, okay, you’re only getting in this race ’cause you hate Donald Trump and want to bludgeon Donald Trump,” he argued.
“I don’t see Chris Christie actually wanting to run and win the nomination,” Hannity further contended. “He views it as his role to be the enforcer and to attack Trump. You know what? That’s not a very inspiring agenda and I don’t even know if I’m interested in facilitating or listening to him babble on when he left office with nobody in New Jersey even liking him.”
The position came the same day that the Republican National Committee announced the criteria by which participation in the Aug. 23 debate, to be hosted by Fox News, will be determined. The statement from the RNC explained that candidates must be polling with at least one percent in multiple approved polls, both national and in early-voting states, as well as obtaining a minimum of 40,000 unique donors, with no fewer than 200 donors representing at least 20 states and territories.
Some of the hopeful candidates reacted to the rules expressing their concern at the apparent gatekeeping. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said, “The 40,000 donor threshold will keep some candidates from being on the debate stage and benefits candidates who generate online donations through extreme rhetoric and scare tactics.”
“It also deprives the voters in Iowa and other early stats of an opportunity to evaluate the entire field of candidates,” he went on.
— Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) June 2, 2023
Similarly, radio host Larry Elder said to The New York Times, “It’s hard to get 40,000 individual donors.”
“We’re working hard. I’ve got a professional team to do it, but I think it’s hard, and I know that other campaigns have complained about it as well,” the candidate suggested.
Meanwhile, Cain went on to support Hannity’s notion, equally tempered, and said, “Yeah, like you, Sean, I’m interested in hearing from almost every candidate. I want to hear what their case is to make America a better place tomorrow. But I honestly, Sean, don’t see a path for any of the alternative candidates to Donald Trump, and that includes Ron DeSantis.”
He went on to add, “We’ve seen Donald Trump in debates. He wins debates. So the only thing that I can explain for anyone’s path, including Christie or [former Vice President Mike] Pence, is they’re expecting some potential bomb to drop. I don’t know what that could be, Sean. An investigation, who knows what it may be, because Donald Trump has survived all of those as well. But they’re waiting for some bomb to explode and then one of the others emerge from the chaos.”
The former president has remained noncommittal about his own participation in the upcoming debate schedule which also included a pledge requirement from hopefuls that they will support the ultimate candidate and not participate in any unsanctioned debates beyond the purview of the RNC. Trump had reportedly already spoken with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson about doing such a debate, and DeSantis had agreed with radio host Glenn Beck that BlazeTV should host a GOP debate, but that it should be sanctioned by the RNC.
Trump went on to share a portion of the exchange from Friday on Truth Social with the caption, “Thank you, Will Cain!”
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