As former President Donald Trump campaigns for a second term in the White House, he is facing dozens of criminal charges as part of four separate indictments. He has repeatedly portrayed his legal trials as evidence of a political witch hunt aimed at derailing his campaign.
Even some of his GOP primary rivals have denounced the charges, with three presidential contenders confirming that they would issue a pardon if Trump is convicted and they won November’s general election.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, however, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — one of the GOP’s loudest anti-Trump voices — rejected the notion entirely.
During a recent appearance on ABC’s “The View,” he explained: “The reason is because one of the things as governor, I issued pardons. And one of the things you have to do is look at the person. The person has to accept responsibility for what they did. Do you think Donald Trump will ever accept responsibility for anything he did? It would be the easiest pardon decision I would ever have to make as president. You don’t accept responsibility? Too bad, go to jail.”
Chris Christie, when asked on “The View” if he would pardon Donald Trump:
“No … The person has to accept responsibility for what they did … It would be the easiest pardon decision I would ever have to make as president. You don't accept responsibility — too bad, go to jail.” pic.twitter.com/XAIR05zr8f
— The Recount (@therecount) January 3, 2024
Of course, Trump and many of his supporters insist he did not violate the law as it relates to his behavior following the 2020 election and in connection with unrelated criminal charges, thus he has nothing about which to accept responsibility.
Christie’s campaign, however, has been characterized almost exclusively by his opposition to the former president, so his stance on issuing a pardon while sitting alongside a panel of similarly anti-Trump hosts on “The View” was in keeping with his reputation.
Vivek Ramaswamy, on the other hand, was quick to respond to the federal charges against Trump by announcing that he would issue a pardon upon being inaugurated.
“This is my commitment: On Jan. 20, 2025, if I’m elected the next U.S. president, to pardon Donald J. Trump for these offenses in this federal case,” he said in June. “And I have challenged, I have demanded that every other candidate in this race either sign this commitment to pardon on Jan. 20, 2025, or else to explain why they are not.”
Last month, both former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis confirmed that they would also pardon Trump if elected.