NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As many in the GOP were trying to distance themselves from presidential nominee Donald Trump over his lewd comments about women, one top Republican has yet to utter a word – pro or con.
CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer was asking Monday – where is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie?
The last time we saw Christie, he was entering Trump Tower this past Saturday clad in, of all things, a New York Mets hoodie. His purpose was to prep Trump for the debate, and to tell him how to answer questions about the vulgar remarks he made about women.
When moderator Anderson Cooper of CNN asked Trump about his 2005 remarks, Trump said: “Certainly, I’m not proud of it, but that was something that happened. If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse. Mine are words, and his was action.”
That was the defense that Christie and others crafted for Trump, but Christie has said absolutely nothing about the hot-button issue.
Christie’s lack of any comment is doubly odd, given that the New Jersey governor has been a key and vocal Trump defender. Upon reports of Trump’s non-payment of nearly $1 billion in federal taxes, Christie said, “No apologies for complying with the law.”
Christie, the father of two daughters, has been silent while other Republicans have distanced themselves from Trump. On Monday, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said he would no longer defend Trump and instead would focus on defending the party’s majority in Congress.
Trump’s remarks were also a topic among politicians at the Columbus Day Parade on Fifth Avenue Monday.
“I think it’s a time for the Republican leaders to stop playing this game of, ‘Well, I don’t like the comments, but I support him,’” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “You can’t have it both ways.”
Kramer asked Cuomo whether Christie should resign from the Trump campaign because of the presidential nominee’s vulgar remarks.
“Well look – Gov. Christie is the governor of the great State of New Jersey. I’m governor of the great State of New York,” Cuomo said. “I leave New Jersey politics to him.”
Kramer also asked Cuomo what his girlfriend, Sandra Lee, thought about Trump’s remarks.
“Look, I think it’s every woman,” Cuomo said. “I haven’t found a person who thinks it was acceptable.”
Pundits said Christie does not want to jeopardize his position in Trump’s firmament.
“Christie hopes that Trump will win. Why? Well, who knows what’s in it for Christie – an ambassadorship; maybe a cabinet position?” said political strategist Hank Sheinkopf.
Pundits also pointed out that Christie does not have to worry about his popularity in New Jersey because he is term-limited and cannot run again.
Meanwhile, former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell she was not surprised at Trump’s silence.
“He’s a father of daughters,” Whitman said. “He has got to feel uncomfortable with this.”
Whitman said she could see Christie’s influence on Trump during the debate.
“Well, they’re certainly all part of an approach not to back off anything and to be strong,” she said.
Whitman does not think Trump brought in any New Yorkers for debate preparations. A lifelong Republican, Whitman said she will not vote for Trump.
CBS2’s Kramer contacted Christie’s spokesman for comment, but the spokesman maintained radio silence.