It is understandable of the attention for tomorrow night’s GOP presidential debate is going to be the interaction between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Until recently, Cruz and Trump have steered clear of each other. But with Cruz having gained and passed Trump in Iowa, the two men will very likely duke it out for the first time in public mano-a-mano.
But I would also keep my eye on Chris Christie. It is worth remembering that he and Mike Huckabee got demoted to the warm up act with George Pataki, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham and Bobby Jindal. While Huckabee is stuck debating Pataki, Santorum and Graham (with Jindal having dropped out), Christie is back in the saddle. The New Jersey Governor is back on the main stage by virtue of his laser like focus in New Hampshire which has brought up him to second place in the latest poll released on Friday. While it’s true that Christie is 15 points behind Trump, it is still second place nevertheless.
Christie is no doubt eager to take on Trump given his claim that he saw “thousands and thousands” of Muslims celebrating 9/11 in New Jersey. Christie said that Trump’s claims were “factually wrong.” I would be shocked if the CNN panelists don’t bring that up at some point tomorrow night. If there’s any Republican who could land a punch against Trump, it would be Christie. While Chris Christie doesn’t have Ted Cruz’s appeal with conservatives, should Christie gets the better of Trump at any point in the debate then he could very well do in New Hampshire what Ted Cruz is doing right now in Iowa.
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