After lauding Republican Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers for refusing to do anything illegal to support Trump’s attempt to overthrow the election, Christie said that Tuesday’s hearing featured “powerful testimony” that he hopes will be widely seen by American voters. At that point, Muir noted that Republicans across the country are currently pushing election denialism in their campaigns.
“In fact, there are Republican candidates in Texas saying that President Biden is not the legitimate president, that he’s the acting president,” the World News Tonight host stated, referencing the Texas GOP’s latest official platform.
In Christie’s view, though, this was actually a bipartisan problem and “goes all the way back to 2000” and the dispute over the Florida presidential election recount, which eventually went to the United States Supreme Court. (By a 5-4 majority, the court granted George W. Bush’s request to stay the Florida Supreme Court’s decision and halt the recount.)
“You had supporters of Al Gore, who even after Vice President Gore conceded the election and certified it himself as the president of the Senate, refused to accept George W. Bush as legitimate,” Christie declared. “You’ve heard Hillary Clinton say she still doesn’t accept the 2016 results as legitimate. This is a dangerous thing in this country brought to a new level in 2020.”
Cutting the former New Jersey governor off, Muir shot back: “I have to interrupt right there because you also know, Governor, that Al Gore stood before the nation and actually conceded and did something very different than what we witnessed. This is much different.”
Christie contended that he wasn’t talking about Gore himself but merely his supporters, asserting that many of them “did not believe George W. Bush was legitimate.” Additionally, he noted that there were Democrats who voted against Bush’s electoral certification in the House of Representatives.
“What I’m saying is this is a disturbing trend and pattern that’s been increasing in intensity from 2000 to 2016, now to 2020,” he continued.
Muir, however, wrapped up his conversation with Christie by suggesting the former GOP presidential candidate had offered up a false equivalence.
“I get what you’re saying,” the anchor concluded. “I just don’t want our audience to think I’m not aware that there isn’t a real equivalency here when you have a former president who is sowing seeds of doubt in this particular election.”