Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie was booed while walking on stage at the Florida Republican Party’s Freedom Summit event on Saturday.
“Now look, every one of those boos, everyone one of those cat calls, everyone one of those yells will not … solve one problem we face in this country,” Christie said. “Your anger against the truth is reprehensible.”
Between jeers, the former New Jersey governor tried to tell the crowd of Trump supporters that their energy is better spent elsewhere.
“When you think about the problems that our country and this world is facing, when you think about that, this type of pettiness … is beneath … the process of electing a president,” he said.
Christie told the displeased crowd that they could reject his arguments, he just needed to be able to say them first.
“The problem is … you fear the truth,” he told the crowd. “You want to shout down any voice that says anything different than what you want to hear. And you can continue to do it. And believe me … it doesn’t bother me one bit.”
The former governor said what does bother him, though, is “the atrocities that are going on in Israel.”
“That’s what we should spend our time talking about, and that’s the place where I suggest some of our anger should be directed,” Christie said about the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.
After his speech, Christie was approached by far-right activist Laura Loomer, who was criticizing Christie for his comments against Trump and for “supporting the weaponization of government.”
“The proudest moments of my career is to be opposed like someone like you,” Christie said to her.
In a response online Christie said the former President was “too scared to face me like a man” so he sent Loomer in his place, adding that Loomer told him he “should die of a heart attack.”
“Obviously, I didn’t hold back,” Christie said in a post. “I tell the truth, and they can’t handle it.”
Christie fundraised online based on his Saturday comments.
Christie echoed a similar sentiment to his speech in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, with a donation link. “I’ll never stop telling it like it is. Chip in here.”
Former President Trump headlined the event in Kissimmee, Fla. Christie and the other GOP candidates, including former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
The candidates will return to Florida on Wednesday, where they will participate in the third GOP primary debate in Miami. It will be hosted by NBC News on Nov. 8 at 8 p.m.
This story was updated at 6:45pm.