Chris Christie nuked his own career to help Donald Trump become the Republican presidential nominee.

In return, the self-described billionaire has utterly humiliated him.

Cast your mind back to the heady days of February, when everyone still believed Trump was destined to crash and burn. It was at this moment that Christie, the influential governor of New Jersey and a former presidential candidate himself, shocked America by becoming the first mainstream politician to publicly endorse Trump.

In doing so, he gave Trump's candidacy the legitimacy it desperately needed, and sent a strong signal to other Republicans - they were free to jump on the bandwagon.


Christie's endorsement was particularly surprising because he had previously savaged Trump, questioning his basic fitness for office. "I just don't think he's suited to be president of the United States," he'd once said.

"We do not need reality TV in the Oval Office right now. President of the United States is not the place for an entertainer."

Christie's colossal change of heart led plenty of people to question his motives. The dominant theory? He wanted to be Trump's pick for vice-president.


Christie spent the next few days campaigning alongside Trump in an apparent attempt to win his respect. This led to his first dose of humiliation.

After introducing Trump at a rally in Arkansas, Christie leaned in to thank the candidate and shake his hand. Trump barked something in his ear, and because of the miracle that is modern microphone technology, the whole world heard it.

"Get on the plane and go home. It's over there," Trump said, pointing at the aircraft. There was no mistaking his tone - it was an order, delivered to a subordinate. Soon afterwards, sections of the media labelled Christie a "manservant" and "errand boy". One particularly harsh headline read: "Trump puts lapdog Christie in his place."

It got worse on the first of March, otherwise known as Super Tuesday, as Trump celebrated a string of triumphs in the Republican primaries. Again, Christie served as Trump's warm-up act, but this time he had to stay on stage while the frontrunner delivered his victory speech.

The haunted look on Christie's face throughout Trump's monologue was reminiscent of a man being held hostage.

The ridicule was so incessant and merciless that Christie actually felt obliged to issue this official denial during a press conference two days later: "No, I wasn't being held hostage. No, I wasn't sitting up there thinking 'Oh my god, what have I done.'"

The body blows kept coming, as Trump publicly mocked Christie's weight, and an embarrassing report from within the presidential campaign claimed he'd even fetched McDonald's for the real estate mogul.

Apparently chastened, Christie chose to cut down on the campaigning and instead focus on his actual job as governor of New Jersey. But even in his home state, where he was once among the most popular governors in the country, Christie had become a pariah.

"What an embarrassment. What an utter disgrace," spat an editorial published in USA Today Network newspapers in March, which called for Christie's resignation.

"We're disgusted with his endorsement of Donald Trump after he spent months on the campaign trail trashing him, calling him unqualified by temperament and experience."

Christie's once sky-high approval rating plummeted to a record low of 29 per cent. His political brand was toxic.

Donald Trump has publicly mocked Chris Christie's weight, which led people to wonder why Christie stuck around. Photo / AP
Donald Trump has publicly mocked Chris Christie's weight, which led people to wonder why Christie stuck around. Photo / AP


As Trump stormed towards the Republican nomination, Christie clung to his one remaining ambition - the vice-presidency.

Trump spent much of last week agonising over his options, flitting between Christie, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Indiana Governor Mike Pence. Christie spoke with Trump several times, desperately putting his own case forward. But in the end it wasn't enough, and Trump settled on Pence.

According to a report in The Weekly Standard, Christie was absolutely "livid" at Trump's decision. The man himself was a little more diplomatic in an interview with MSNBC.

"I mean, obviously, I'm a competitive person," Christie said. "Of course it bothers you a bit. Because if you're a competitive person, like I am, and you're used to winning, like I am ... you don't like coming in second, ever."

The rejection prompted one final round of ridicule in the media. A local New Jersey paper, the Star-Ledger, said it was Christie's "worst day ever".

"It seems he sold his soul to Donald Trump at a discount, coming away with the same short hand that Trump has dealt so many of his partners over the years," the paper said.

Writing in the New York Times, reporter Kate Zernike struck a similar note.

Chris Christie sacrificed everything for a job Trump didn't give him. Photo / AP
Chris Christie sacrificed everything for a job Trump didn't give him. Photo / AP

"He did not get the job he was publicly pining for, and on which he had pinned his hopes of political resuscitation. Donald Trump picked someone else as his running mate, despite an endorsement that dragged Christie's poll numbers to record lows at home and alienated him from moderate Republicans he once called friends," she wrote.

"He was such a lapdog and tried for it so hard," Republican strategist Ed Rollins told the Times. "I think he just looks much weaker than he was before by his rabid pursuit of Trump."

"It's death by humiliation," said another strategist, Julie Roginsky. "Slow, twisting and played out in public."

You get the picture. Christie sacrificed everything for a job Trump didn't give him. He helped launch Trump's political career, and in return, Trump left him with nothing more than a second-rate speaking slot at the Republican convention and a future in ruins.