Chris Christie: Republican Party In New Jersey Seems Beyond Help At This Point


STEPHANOPOULOS: But his Republican support, Matthew Dowd, is kind of remarkable. I mean, he's up in the high 80s, 87 percent. As I said earlier, only George W. Bush was higher among Republicans.

DOWD: Well, it's a fascinating development. I mean, obviously he's intensely popular. The Republican Party is the Trump party. That's done. That's a forgone conclusion. And I disagree with Senator Flake, who said, well, maybe in the aftermath and this is over, I think that's done. The Republican Party is a Trump-like party.

But the interesting thing is the Republican Party, while it has become more solid with Donald Trump, has gotten smaller. It has gotten smaller over the course of the last year-and-a-half. It's now only representing about 25 percent of the American public, says I'm Republican.

So it has gotten smaller and more intense. The problem I think on immigration for Republicans, it's a great issue for a Republican primary. It's a great -- it's one of the reasons why Donald Trump won the Republican nomination for president.

The problem in a general election is most Americans are for immigration. They're for a path to citizenship. They're against what's happening, this separation of families. And so I think while it might stoke up the base and help among Republicans, it's a losing issue in November.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Chris Christie, I can't believe it's going to help Republican House members seeking re-election in New Jersey.

CHRISTIE: No, no, it definitely won't help in a state like New Jersey for sure. But I don't know what much will help in a state like New Jersey at this point, because, you know, you're having a situation where you have a president whose values have proven to be in a governing sense much more conservative than the state of New Jersey generally is.

And so, you know, you're going to have some very tough House races. But I will also say that in the end, I've always found, as someone who has run for office, that in the end a lot of these issues are sideline issues. They're issues we like to discuss around here, but a lot of people in New Jersey are going to say, I'm making more money than I did before, or I have a job when I didn't have a job before.

And that -- off of those pocketbook issues, as you know, turn out to be determinative (ph). And I think that's the headwind that Democrats are sailing into is the headwind of a stronger and stronger economy, GDP growth maybe at 3 percent this year, and in the next quarter, leading into the election, maybe even higher than that.

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