President Donald Trump doesn’t exactly maintain the rosiest public image. With his frequently erratic behavior, he’s introduced a new level of political chaos to the United States and world, and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie has a new metaphor to make some sense of what’s going on. Appearing on ABC’s This Week, he compared Trump to a “72-year-old relative,” offering the suggestion that his age makes him that much harder to rein in.
During a panel discussion, he commented:
‘I want to ask everybody out in the audience today if they have a 72-year-old relative whose behavior they’re attempting to change. When people get older — let’s get ready because it’s happening to me now — when people get older, they can become more and more convinced of the fact that what they’re doing is the right thing and it becomes harder to convince them otherwise… Manage the things you can manage, and if Mick does that, I think he will be successful. If he doesn’t, it’ll be hard.’
Comparing Trump to a “72-year-old relative,” Chris Christie says Mick Mulvaney is “right that he shouldn’t try to manage the president.”
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 23, 2018
Christie and his fellow panelists were discussing Trump’s appointment of White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as his acting chief of staff after the resignation of John Kelly. Mulvaney is the third White House chief of staff in roughly two years, marking yet another facet of the record breaking senior staff turnover inside the Trump White House.
Mulvaney has been batted around the administration before, having controversially served as the acting chief of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau through the recent confirmation of Kathy Kraninger as director. Before he ever joined up with the White House, Mulvaney served in Congress, including through a particularly noteworthy pre-2016 elections debate appearance when he called Trump a “terrible human being.”
During a recent television appearance, he claimed he and the president have “joked” about the issue and pointed to his two years of service in the White House as evidence of where his true loyalties lie.
As Christie indicates, that’s hardly where the issues he’ll be facing as chief of staff end, however.
Kelly went from being understood as one of the “adults in the room” inside the Trump administration to giving up on trying to rein in the president and leaving. He abandoned the position after taking over for his predecessor Reince Priebus, who’d gone from the head of the Republican National Committee to getting unceremoniously fired via tweet.
Issues include some unrelated to precedent, too. The federal government is currently partially shut down thanks to a lack of approved funding, and during a recent tv appearance, Mulvaney acknowledged that thanks to the stalemate over the president’s demands for border wall funding, the shut down could continue into the new year when Democrats become the majority party in Congress.
There are also other, longer lasting issues like the Russia investigation, which has roped in both previous chiefs of staff for questioning.
No doubt conscious of these issues, Christie has previously explained that he turned down an offer to replace Kelly. Someone’s got to fill the position, though.
Featured Image via Screenshot from the video