Speed Reads

last night on late night

Chris Christie says he'd be a better president than Trump on a boozy Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was Stephen Colbert's guest on Tuesday's Late Show, and at his request, they began the interview with tequila shots. "Where do you think the wheels came off during the shutdown?" Colbert asked. "The president blew it," Christie replied. "When?" Colbert asked, and Christie answered: "When he shut the government down with no plan on how to reopen it." Christie said he warned Trump beforehand that "if you're going to do this, you'd better have an exit plan." That obviously didn't happen, "and he got goose egg," Colbert said. "Yes, in politics, we call that getting rolled," Christie said.

Christie said it hurts him "personally" when Trump undermines democracy by attacking the Justice Department and the FBI. So after two years, "do you regret at all helping this man get elected?" Colbert asked. Christie grabbed the bottle of tequila. He said in 2016 he preferred Trump to Hillary Clinton, "and I still agree with what his policies are more than I agree with Hillary Clinton's," but it's true Trump "has turned the Republican Party into something different that it was when I started to run for president." "Yeah, the Kremlin," Colbert joked.

Colbert asked what Christie gets out of his 17-year friendship with the infamously transactional Trump. "He demands loyalty, he doesn't seem that loyal himself," Colbert said. "He'll toss anybody under the bus." "You think I don't know?" Christie asked, laughing. "I'm the guy who got fired from the transition." That stung, but "we have one president at a time, and if I can do anything to make him better, if I can do anything that helps the country, that's my job to do," he said. "Believe me, my wife ain't happy about it either."

"Would you have been a better president than Trump?" Colbert asked. "Yes," Christie said, no hesitation. They ended with a spirited discussion of who exactly likes Christie anymore. Watch below. Peter Weber