New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie pushed back forcefully against incessant media coverage of Donald Trump’s controversial immigration comments and his campaign for president on Monday.
"We’ve talked about this over and over again," Christie said on Fox & Friends. "We should be talking about all the significant problems we have in this country, like entitlement reform. We should be talking about education reform and not continually talking about all this stuff. Enough. We've answered the question."
Christie told his interviewers, for "the fifteenth time," that Trump’s comments about Mexicans were "inappropriate," and he berated the media for inflating Trump’s popularity through constant coverage.
"Nobody in the real world asks me about this. Nobody," Christie said. "But every time I get on a media show, all anybody wants to talk about is Donald Trump."
Christie said the voters he encounters are concerned about "terrorism, debt, and the real problem that families are having these days sending their kids to college and affording it," not Trump.
Cable news has been dominated by coverage of the coiffed crusader since his announcement on June 16. Actual issues such as the Iran nuclear deal and China’s unprecedented cyber assault on the U.S. government have gotten short shrift by comparison.
The Washington Free Beacon found that CNN mentioned Donald Trump 239 times during a 24-hour period last week. By comparison, "CNN mentioned ‘ISIS’ 61 times, ‘Iran’ 35 times, ‘John Kerry’ 18 times, and ‘nuclear deal’ six times during that same time span."
Meanwhile, GOP leaders are concerned about Trump's inflammatory remarks and their effect on the party's image.
The Washington Post reports,
The head of the Republican National Committee, responding to demands from increasingly worried party leaders, spent nearly an hour Wednesday on the phone with Donald Trump, urging the presidential candidate to tone down his inflammatory comments about immigration that have infuriated a key election constituency.
The call from Chairman Reince Priebus, described by donors and consultants briefed on the conversation and confirmed by the RNC, underscores the extent to which Trump has gone from an embarrassment to a cause for serious alarm among top Republicans in Washington and nationwide.
But there is little they can do about the mogul and reality-television star, who draws sustenance from controversy and attention. And some fear that, with assistance from Democrats, Trump could become the face of the GOP.