Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie – an outside political adviser to President Trump – made a pitch on Friday to move up the date of the presidential debates between Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
“I think the president would love to have more debates if they could figure out the timing,” Christie said in an interview with The Washington Post. “A lot of people are going to start voting before September 29, the idea that they would not have seen one presidential debate by then, to me, seems ridiculous. I think we should either move the dates up, or add additional debates.”
The Commission on Presidential Debates – which has long organized the presidential general election showdowns – has three debates scheduled: Sept. 29, Oct. 15 and Oct. 22.
Former Vice President Biden’s campaign last month reiterated that it’s agreed to participate in the three planned presidential debates – and criticized the Trump reelection campaign’s recent push for more debates as an “effort to change the subject” and “create a distracting ‘debate about debates.’”
The first scheduled debate will take place a few days after roughly 10 states allow voters to start casting ballots, through in-person early voting or by voting by mail or absentee balloting.
In Friday's interview, Christie also took aim at Steve Bannon, saying he hopes the president doesn’t bring Bannon back to the Trump campaign.
“I don’t think Steve would be the least bit productive. The role he played in 2016…was overplayed and overblown,” Christie stressed.
Bannon, the former executive chairman of Brietbart News, served as executive chairman of Trump’s first White House bid in the final three months leading up to the election. He was chief strategist for the president’s first 7 months in the White House before leaving to rejoin Brietbart News.
Christie – who ran unsuccessfully for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination before suspending his campaign and endorsing Trump – didn’t rule out another run for the White House in 2024.
“I certainly wouldn’t foreclose any possibility. Would I consider running? Sure, absolutely,” he said.
If Christie doesn’t run, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland – who’s flirting with a potential 2024 bid – might be someone the former New Jersey governor could support.
“If I decided not to and Larry decided to run himself, he certainly would be someone near the top of the list for me to consider supporting in that regard,” Christie said.