The first debate of the presidential primary season kicks off on Thursday, and the field is finally set. There's 10 Republicans out of 17 total candidates, and some big names missed the cut. But at least one governor once considered a strong contender made it to the big stage, and he'll be looking to resuscitate his flagging hopes. Here are seven Chris Christie catchphrases you might hear in the debate.
At this point in the 2012 election cycle, Christie was basically the dream candidate for a lot of conservatives who were wary of Mitt Romney's ability to win. It came as a big disappointment that he decided not to run, but the conventional wisdom was that he'd be positioned well for 2016. That's not how things have shaken out, however. Now running in a horrendously overcrowded field, Christie barely squeaked into the top 10 candidates in the polls, which secured him a spot on stage. Simply put, his prospects have dimmed.
Which is precisely why you could see Christie swing a haymaker at the debate. Maybe he'll decide to play it safe, sure, but there's no shortage of blunt, recognizable quotes from Christie throughout the years. His brusque, often antagonistic style has drawn praise and scorn alike. It'd be pretty wild to see that Christie unleashed on an unsuspecting Republican debate crowd. Here are seven such examples.
Back in 2012, Christie called New Jersey state assemblyman Reed Gusciora "numb-nuts." Gusciora had called out the governor for his opposition to same-sex marriage. Christie later apologized for this, according to Politico, but this is take-no-prisoners time.
2. "Man Up And Say I'm Fat"
This is a rather immortal Christie line, dating back to before he was even governor. He was just a candidate then, running against incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine. Corzine put out a campaign commercial that accused Christie of "throwing his weight around," complete with a slow-motion shot of him awkwardly getting out of a car.
This prompted the above retort. And even though Christie's lost a lot of weight since then, he's remained the target of relentless fat jokes throughout his political life. In the event any GOP rival has bad enough taste to hint around Christie's girth, this wouldn't be a bad line to dust off.
3. "They Parachuted These Losers Into The Debate"
Originally, this line came at the expense of the cast members of Jersey Shore, who gave off an impression of the state that Christie predictably objected to. Now, however, he could use it against the participants of the so-called "undercard" debate which has been set up to placate the candidates who didn't make the cut. It's also been derisively referred to as the "kid's table" debate.
4. "I Am The Son Of An Irish Father And A Sicilian Mother"
In the event Christie gets asked about his notoriously short fuse, this is the type of quote you might be the most likely to actually hear. He's referred to his ethnic heritage several times through the years, relying on a stereotypical vision of Sicilians and the Irish as predisposed to combative hotheadedness. You can almost imagine him saying this to Chris Wallace now.
5. "Cry Me A River"
The potential applications for this old gem (it's a pretty common turn of phrase, but Christie gives it a little bit of that oomph) are as obvious at it gets. Rand Paul criticizes his opposition to marijuana? "Cry me a river." John Kasich complains that his strong gubernatorial record is overlooked? "Cry me a river." Donald Trump's hair crawls off his scalp and escapes offstage? "Cry me a river."
6. "What The Hell Are We Paying You For?"
It was originally an attack line aimed at President Obama, but it works just as well against any candidate who's a member of Congress. Obviously, Christie in no sense "pays" an out-of-state governor like Scott Walker or a private mogul like Trump. But if he wanted to lob a few grenades in, say, Ted Cruz's direction, this line could make a comeback. Although in fairness, everyone already knows what we're paying Cruz for: Eating bacon off the barrel of a machine gun.
7. "I Have Never Fallen Asleep During A Presidential Debate, And I Will Never Fall Asleep During A Presidential Debate"
The original context of this line was when Christie was seemingly caught snoozing during a Bruce Springsteen concert — a definite no-no for a guy who's said to revere the legendary rocker. But it'll work just as well (and be just as unconvincing) in the event that he dozes off at his podium during Thursday's debate. Just imagine it!
Megyn Kelly: Um, Governor Christie, are you ...
Christie: Uh, um, I ... I have never fallen asleep during a presidential debate ...