Updated: Dec 18, 2021
The Gridiron Club, which brings together journalists and public figures in Washington for frivolity and fundraising to aid students, has the motto “singe, don't burn” for roasts and toasts.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie might have wondered whether Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin knew that rule in discussion of Christie’s new book, Republican Rescue: Saving the Party from Truth Deniers, Conspiracy Theorists, and the Dangerous Policies of Joe Biden.
“All of the cynical and jaded reporters, which is to say all of you here tonight, are expressing shock this week that only 2,000 people so far have purchased the governor’s book,” Raskin said.
“What the cynics fail to realize is that 2,000 is an amazing number given that the governor’s target audience was Republicans who still have critical thinking skills.”
The two politicians were the speakers on Saturday evening, Dec. 4, at the Gridiron Club and Foundation winter dinner. If you haven’t tuned out national politics, you may know that Christie, once an ally of Donald Trump, is part of a distinct minority of the GOP speaking out about the former president’s persistent untruths about the 2020 election.
It should be noted that Christie, who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination in 2016, looks to be positioning himself for a national campaign in 2024.
Raskin, who was a constitutional law professor at American University, has climbed swiftly in the U.S. House ranks since his election in 2016. He was entrusted with the role of lead impeachment manager in proceedings against Trump this year.
“I know that we are supposed to start with something self-deprecating,” Raskin remarked when he took the stage, “but neither I nor my staff could think of anything.”
Christie aimed some of his remarks at the former president, including an observation about Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin’s success.
“He won it by benefiting from the Trump name without ever standing in the same room with him. You know where he learned that from? Melania Trump, obviously.”
Christie said he experienced pangs of worry in final editing of his book that Trump would be upset when he read it.
“Then I remembered: It’s a book; no chance,” Christie said.
Raskin (right) observed that he and Christie both grew up “insane” fans of Bruce Springsteen. Then he turned to Christie and asked: “How do you go to 143 Bruce Springsteen concerns and still come out and endorse Donald Trump for president? It’s like your favorite singer is Bob Dylan and your favorite politician is Ted Cruz….When we’re singing ‘blinded by the light’, you’re singing ‘blinded by the right'."
Raskin urged journalists to buy Christie’s book, at present far from a bestseller.
“You can still be the first to review it on Amazon,” he said.