Chris Christie becomes first GOP candidate to use Trump’s mugshot in attack ad

The ad dubs Mr Christie a ‘real conservative’ while asking voters if they’re ‘tired of the lies’

Graig Graziosi
Tuesday 29 August 2023 22:04 BST
Related video: Jesse Watters claims Donald Trump ‘looks good’ and ‘hard’ in mugshot

Less than a week after former President Donald Trump had his mugshot taken in the Fulton County jail, one of his primary opponents is using it in an attack ad.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has included the mugshot in his latest campaign ad, drawing attention to the Republican frontrunner's indictment in Georgia over election interference allegations.

The spot was produced by the Tell It Like It Is PAC, a third-party group supporting Mr Christie's bid for the presidency, according to NBC News.

AdImpact, an ad tracking firm, reported that the TV spot is the first to show an image of Mr Trump's mugshot in the presidential race.

"Tired of the drama, the distractions, the lies? It's time for conservatives to win again," the ad's narrator says while the camera closes in on the image.

A moment from a super PAC’s ad for Chris Christie featuring Donald Trump’s mugshot
A moment from a super PAC’s ad for Chris Christie featuring Donald Trump’s mugshot (screengrab/Tell It Like It Is PAC/YouTube)

The ad continues, praising Mr Christie for battling teacher's unions, being tough on crime, and cutting taxes, labeling him a "real conservative."

"Chris Christie: A former prosecutor who convicted child pornographers, corrupt politicians. A successful blue-state governor," the narrator says. "Christie took on the teachers union and won, turned around Jersey's most violent city and got Democrats to cut taxes. A real conservative, Christie tells the truth and he'll beat Joe Biden easily."

While other candidates have shied away from attacking Mr Trump directly, Mr Christie has made the former president's failures a focal point of his campaign.

Even still, Mr Trump holds a commanding lead over all of his opponents in the GOP primary.

The PAC announced that the ad would appear in digital formats in New Hampshire, where Mr Christie is currently focusing his efforts. The spot closes with the former governor hugging New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, who holds similar criticisms of Mr Trump.

Mr Sununu has not yet endorsed a primary candidate.

While Mr Christie is using Mr Trump's image to attack him, Mr Trump has been busy using his image to bolster his war chest.

Shortly after the mugshot was released, Mr Trump made posts on Truth Social and X/Twitter which included the mugshot as well as a link to his website, where users are immediately prompted to donate to the former president.

Mr Trump's campaign is also selling t-shirts with photos of the mugshot. It sent out an email on Monday claiming it had already raised $9m since the mugshot was released to the public last Thursday.

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