Washington (CNN)Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a staunch ally of President Donald Trump, said Thursday evening it’s time to accept that Joe Biden won the 2020 election as the President continues to push baseless conspiracy theories that his second term is being stolen.
“Whenever anybody loses an election — party, an individual — there is great disappointment. But elections have consequences and this one was clearly won by President-elect Biden by the same margin in the Electoral College that President Trump won four years ago — by even more, nearly double the popular vote,” Christie told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “Prime Time.”
“This election, there has been no evidence put forward that has shown me as a former prosecutor that there is any fraud that would change the results of the election. It’s time for us to accept that defeat. Also, by the way, accept the many victories we had that night. Fourteen new House members, two legislatures at the state level switched, and a governorship flipped to the Republican party.”
“We had a great night except at the top of the ticket,” he continued. “So we need to accept that and we need to move on.”
The comments from Christie, who previously derided Trump’s legal team as a “national embarrassment,” come as a growing number of high-profile Republicans acknowledge Biden’s victory and refer to him accurately as “President-elect.”
“The Electoral College has spoken,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor earlier this week, adding, “Today I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden.”
But a wide swath of Republicans on Capitol Hill are still siding with Trump or ignoring his daily conspiracy theories altogether. And the President’s staunchest defenders are urging him to fight his loss all the way to the House floor in January.
It is not unusual for a losing candidate’s most fervent supporters to take their case to the House floor — something that occurred after the 2016, 2004 and 2000 presidential races. But it is unusual for the losing candidate to mount a weeks-long public campaign aimed at sowing discord and distrust over a pillar of democracy, something that Trump has done relentlessly since losing the race.
Pressed Thursday on being perceived as disloyal to the Republican Party because of his comments, Christie offered: “I am a person who relies on the facts.”
“The facts are that every one of these lawsuits has been thrown out of court, not because these judges and certainly not the justices of the Supreme Court lacked courage. It’s because the claims lacked evidence,” Christie said.
“You got to fight based on the facts,” he added, “and so name calling won’t change anything at this point.”