GOP candidate Chris Christie rips Trump, DeSantis at town hall event in South Miami

SOUTH MIAMI, Fla. – Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spoke at two town hall events in South Miami on Friday morning ahead of the opening face-off of the 2024 GOP presidential campaign.

Christie discussed his plans to “unite the country” at Casa Cuba restaurant, located at 5859 SW 73rd St.

Dozens gathered for the event happening just days before he will debate other Republican presidential hopefuls who are vying for the party’s nomination, with candidates that include Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

“We gotta be willing to take on the beast of government spending. I want to set up educational freedom accounts in this country and we will clean up the crime in these cities,” Christie said during the event.

While at the town hall event, Local 10 News reporter Liane Morejon asked Christie about his views on DeSantis and former President Donald Trump’s views on ending birthright citizenship.

“I wouldn’t end that. If we fix the immigration system in a way that’s logical, we wouldn’t be having this argument,” he said.

Cristie is one of the few GOP candidates that has called out Trump over his claims of a stolen election and four indictments.

“It was a lie on election night, it was a lie on January 6th, and it’s a lie today,” said Christie.

During the event, Christie also took jabs at DeSantis, including his actions against Disney.

“The best way I think the governor (DeSantis) can be involved in this is not to be,” he said.

Local 10 News spoke with lifelong Democrats who were impressed with Christie.

“I think Chris Christie attracts Independents, Democrats and Republicans because he cares about the entire U.S.,” said Horace Feliu, a registered Democrat.

“I’m registered a Democrat, but I believe I’m going to leave soon. I like the things I heard today,” said town hall guest Andreana Jackson.

Christie continued his South Florida tour at Versailles Restaurant in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood where he spoke to people of all parties about his presidential plans and fielded a variety of policy questions.

He also spoke about the news that a memo for a Ron DeSantis debate memo urges him to defend Trump and take ‘a sledgehammer’ to GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.

On Sunday, Christie is expected to join Milberg on This Week in South Florida to discuss an array of topics before the presidential debate. You can watch their interview on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

About the Authors:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.

Ryan Mackey is a Digital Journalist at WPLG. He was born in Long Island, New York, and has lived in Sunrise, Florida since 1994.