Never one to shy away from speaking his mind, Republican Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.) came out swinging Wednesday, publicly criticizing two members of his own party: President Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
During Christie's rounds on cable news early Wednesday morning, MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski asked the governor whether he agreed with Trump's decision last week to pardon former Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of federal criminal contempt after disobeying a court order to stop targeting Latinos in his illegal alien sweeps.
"My understanding has always been that one of the prerequisites you look for in giving a pardon is contrition for what you were convicted of," Christie said. "I didn't see that in Sheriff Arpaio."
"This is not one that I would have done," Christie added.
Christie, who appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" primarily to discuss the federal government's handling of Hurricane Harvey, was even more brazen when addressing Cruz's recent remarks defending his vote against the $50 billion Hurricane Sandy relief bill in 2013. Cruz told MSNBC's Katy Tur on Monday that he voted against the relief package because two-thirds of the bill contained unrelated pork and expenses that had nothing to do with assistance for Sandy victims.
"The worst thing about it — and this is why politics has become so cynical in Washington — is statements like that. He should just stand up and say, 'You know what, I was wrong,'" Christie said. "What was wrong was for Ted Cruz to exploit the disaster for political gain — that's what he was doing."
When asked by co-host Joe Scarborough to describe Cruz in one word, Christie simply said, "Crap."
Christie also made an appearance on CNN's "New Day" and had similar, yet sharper, criticisms of Cruz when speaking to host Chris Cuomo.
"I see Sen. Cruz, and it's disgusting to me that he stands in a recovery center with victims standing behind him as a backdrop and he's still repeating the same reprehensible lies about what happened with Sandy," he said.
"It's disgusting to me that he's standing in a recovery center w/victims standing behind him as a backdrop & he's.." https://t.co/45MwxzIhI5
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) August 30, 2017