Former governor Chris Christie says GOP must purge QAnon conspiracy extremists

The one-time Trump ally is promoting a new book ahead of a potential presidential bid in 2024

Justin Vallejo
New York
Friday 10 September 2021 17:42
Chris Christie says party needs to get rid of QAnon supporters and conspiracists
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Former governor Chris Christie says the GOP needs to kick out QAnon followers, white supremacists and wild extremists to “leave the lying” to the “far-left” Democrats.

The once and potentially future presidential candidate included believers that the 2020 election was stolen among his “truth deniers”, which includes former ally, Donald Trump.

“We need to face the realities of the 2020 election and learn, not hide from them. We need to discredit the extremists in our midsts, the way we’ve done it before,” Mr Christie said.

“We need to renounce the conspiracy theorists and the truth deniers. The ones who know better, and the ones who are just plain nuts.”

The ex-New Jersey governor made the comments at the Reagan Foundation on Thursday, as noted by Newsweek, which was first to report the speech.

Mr Christie was a rival turned ally turned rival to Mr Trump during the former president’s rise to, and fall from, the White House. He has since become one of the Republican party’s most vocal critics of the US Capitol riot on 6 January.

He is “seriously considering” a 2024 presidential run, according to a report in Axios, and has been on a tour promoting his next book Republican Rescue: Saving the Party from Truth Deniers, Conspiracy Theorists, and the Dangerous Policies of Joe Biden, scheduled to be published on 16 November.

While his harshest words at the Reagan Foundation speech were aimed at the extremist elements within his own party’s ranks, Mr Christie said they needed to be purged so the GOP could focus on what he called the lies of the extremists in the Democratic party.

“We need to give our supporters facts, that will help them to put all those fantasies to rest… pretending we won when we lost is a waste of time and energy and credibility,” Mr Christie said.

“Let’s leave the lying to the cynics and extremists both inside and outside of our party, and to the far left Democrats,” he added.

Mr Christie compared removing QAnon followers from the GOP to former president Ronald Reagan opposing the John Birch Society as an extremist fringe that believed the federal government was run by anti-American communists.

“Pander to the lies and the liars they say, ‘The lies are crazy, but just nod and pretend to agree. Say as little as you can and get away and duck when the reporters come to follow up’,” he said.

“‘And whatever you do, don’t upset the truth deniers or the conspiracy propagandists, the QAnoners, the white supremacists, the wild extremists who’re making so much noise these days. Bow quietly to the haters on Twitter and Facebook. If not, they could easily come for you next’."

He said the party needs to embrace the truth, even when painful, so that the grievances and conspiracy theories die and their credibility returns.

“We need to fight left-wing government expansionist extremism,” Mr Christie said, “but we cannot do it by quietly capitulating to untrue extremism of our own.”

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