‘Before we get to that, are we drinking tonight or not?’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) At the conclusion of his segment Tuesday on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie quipped offhandedly that the appearance could signal the launch of a potential 2020 challenge against President Donald Trump.
“Guess what. Tonight, the beginning of the comeback, baby,” he said. “Here it is, on the ‘Stephen Colbert Show.’ You’ve done it.”
But poor decisions hinted more that it could be the beginning of the end for Christie, a one-time presidential advisor who somehow still claims Trump is a personal friend, despite promoting a new book that torches the White House.
As Colbert opened the interview asking about his new book, Christie replied, “Before we get to that, are we drinking tonight or not?”
Enabler Colbert then acquiesced, “Your folks told me that you wanted a cocktail, and so we asked, and you wanted tequila. … This is that liberal George Clooney tequila—I hope you don’t mind.”
Christie replied: “If it gets me loaded, I don’t care. Liberal, conservative, who cares?”
As it did for Democratic 2020 candidate Elizabeth Warren, who sought to contrast herself with the teetotaling Trump by chugging a beer on New Year’s Eve, Christie’s mixing of booze and politics could easily backfire.
But unlike Warren’s stunt, Christie’s consumption could also be life-threatening.
While it is unclear whether Christie still has a lap-band around his upper stomach or if he underwent another surgery to remove it, the blog BariatricEating.com says the procedure dramatically changes one’s ability to process alcohol.
“Your prior experiences with alcohol are no longer valid as things change with your bariatric surgery,” it says. “Without a handbag sized stomach for digestion, the cocktail dribbles directly into the small intestine and is sucked into the bloodstream at almost full proof. You can get deliriously sloppy and dangerously drunk in seconds.”
Christie did two full shots before the commercial break, with Colbert joining him for one.
Afterward, they returned from break with glasses full.
BariatricEating.com goes on to say that drinking alcohol, specifically shots, can be potentially fatal for those who have undergone the surgery.
“Never drink alcohol unless you are with someone with whom you can trust with your life. Period. Your Match.com date does not qualify. Things can go very wrong with alcohol and if you are alone or with someone who does not understand your surgery, it may place you in grave danger. Never do a shot or feel pressured to keep drinking as alcohol poisoning can kill you.”
Colbert, whose radical left-wing politics figure prominently into interviews, made clear that he was not the guy Christie should trust with his life, interspersing caustic bombs of thinly veiled contempt and even asking the governor, “Who likes you?”
“You do. You do, Stephen. You do. Come on,” Christie said, while raising his glass for the third shot.
“More of this and I might,” Colbert replied.
Colbert, after downing his second tequila shot, pressed the question by reminding Christie that he left office with only 15 percent approval.
“Who’s your constituency?” he asked. “The people who don’t like Trump don’t like you because you support him and helped him get elected. The people around Trump probably don’t like you too much cause of your damn book. And the people in your home state are like, ‘Uh, there’s the door.’”
Christie eventually stumbled into a cogent response, saying he wasn’t concerned by approval ratings.
“After eight years, if they don’t want to kick you out then you didn’t do anything significant,” he said. “Then all you did was kiss rear end for eight years and try to get everybody to love you. I didn’t care if everybody loved me. I cared about being respected and doing the job.”
But Christie’s efforts at maverick posturing seemed to run counter to his obsequiousness toward Trump, as Colbert observed in an earlier question, pressing him on his supposed ongoing friendship with the president despite being passed over for a post in the administration.
“How do you be friends with someone who shows no personal loyalty to you?” Colbert asked.
“I don’t engage in friendships to get things out of it,” Christie said. “… I understand that there are times when things happen in politics where you’ve gotta be a big boy, pull your pants up and walk away.”
“Because you just got spanked?” Colbert replied.
Christie reportedly was vetoed for consideration in early Cabinet posts and Trump’s recent chief-of-staff opening by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser.
While a U.S. attorney, Christie had prosecuted Kushner’s father, Charles, in 2005 for 18 counts of illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion and witness tampering.
“It’s one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes that I prosecuted,” he told Margaret Hoover on PBS’s Firing Line Tuesday.
“It’s one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes that I prosecuted…and I was the U.S. attorney in New Jersey.”@ChrisChristie talks about prosecuting Charles Kushner for tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions and witness tampering. #FiringLineShowPBS pic.twitter.com/rBNn0j0bCY
— Firing Line with Margaret Hoover (@FiringLineShow) January 29, 2019
A subsequent plea deal resulted in Charles Kushner spending 14 months at a federal prison facility in Alabama, as well as being disbarred in New Jersey.
Christie’s latest antics, which included telling Colbert that he would have been a better president than Trump, are likely to make him even more toxic to the chief executive and his supporters.
However, he may have made at least one friend in the process.
After flipping each other the New Jersey “state bird,” Colbert told Christie, “This is more fun than I thought it would be, by the way.”