The Debate Over Trump’s Decision to Skip GOP Primary: Fear of Chris Christie or Political Strategy?

In a recent interview, Joe Scarborough, a former friend of Donald Trump, claimed that the former president is avoiding the GOP primary debate because he is “scared to death” of Chris Christie.[0] Scarborough pointed out that Christie’s track record as a prosecutor, including putting Jared Kushner’s father in jail, makes him a formidable opponent. He also mentioned that Trump’s success in 2016 was largely due to his disruptive nature on the debate stage, but now that tactic is outdated. Scarborough believes that Christie has Trump’s number and that the former president knows it, which is why he is avoiding a debate with him.[1]

Scarborough’s comments have sparked a debate about Trump’s motivations for skipping the debate. Some argue that Trump is simply an egomaniac who craves attention and wants to play the victim, while others believe that he genuinely fears Christie’s ability to push his case and expose his weaknesses. Christie himself has called Trump a “certified loser” and a “verified coward” for avoiding the debate.

The debate over whether Trump should attend the debate has also brought up the issue of the loyalty pledge. Only five candidates have signed the pledge so far, and both Trump and Christie have yet to do so.[2] This has raised questions about their commitment to the Republican Party and their willingness to support the eventual nominee.

Meanwhile, Matt Lewis, a columnist for The Daily Beast, suggested that the biggest flex for Trump would be to turn himself in and then attend the debate.[3] Lewis believes that Trump can handle the legal challenges he is currently facing while still participating in the political arena. He argues that Trump’s compulsive need for attention and his ability to walk and chew gum at the same time would be on full display if he were to show up at the debate.[3]

Jonathan Lemire, the host of MSNBC’s Way Too Early, also weighed in on the debate, citing a source from “Trump’s orbit” who suggested that Trump should not attend because Christie could potentially target other candidates, such as Ron DeSantis.[3] Lemire highlighted Christie’s strength on the debate stage and the potential impact he could have on the race.

Overall, the debate over whether Trump should attend the GOP primary debate has highlighted the tensions within the Republican Party and the challenges facing the former president. As he faces multiple legal battles and ongoing scrutiny, Trump must decide how to navigate his political future and whether or not to face off against a formidable opponent like Chris Christie. Time will tell how this situation unfolds and what impact it will have on the 2024 presidential race.

0. “Chris Christie Says Trump Must Be ‘Very Scared of Me’ If He Skips Debate: If He’s ‘So Far Ahead’ Why Not ‘Take a …” TheWrap, 18 Aug. 2023,

1. “Donald Trump is ‘Scared to Death’ of Debating Ex-pal Chris Christie in Front of Audience, Joe Scarborough Claims” Radar Online, 16 Aug. 2023,

2. “Chris Christie pressures Donald Trump on RNC debate: ‘Stop being such a coward'” Washington Examiner, 19 Aug. 2023,

3. “Trump accused of skipping debate because he’s ‘scared of Chris Christie'” The Independent, 16 Aug. 2023,

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