Chris Christie Says the 'Anointment' of Marco Rubio Is 'Over'

The New Jersey governor takes on the Florida senator.

February 7, 2016, 6:50 PM

EXETER, New Hampshire -- After his bludgeoning of rival presidential candidate Marco Rubio in Saturday night’s debate, Chris Christie declared on Sunday that the "anointment" of Rubio is over.

"That anointment is now over," Christie told reporters after a stop at a local pub here. "I think it changes the entire race."

Christie repeatedly challenged Rubio at the debate, hosted by ABC News, and the Florida senator's performance was met with more than a few poor reviews.

"The anointed one last night didn't look like he was ready for the game," Christie said, making the case that his late strike on Rubio was all part of his strategy. "I told all of you ... I would do it in a time and a place of my choosing and I did it in a time and a place of my choosing, and when I did it, I did it well."

On the campaign trail in New Hampshire on Sunday, Rubio passed up the opportunity to take a swing at Christie, instead doubling down on a talking point he repeated at last night's debate, which ended up sparking a heated exchange with the New Jersey governor.

"I'm gonna say it again," Rubio told a crowd in Londonderry Sunday morning, again arguing that President Obama wants to change America.

A few hours later, the Florida senator repeated it once more at a Super Bowl watch party in Manchester.

"I don't care how much it annoys people in the media," he said. "We are going to keep saying it: Barrack Obama is trying to change America."

Even with Rubio rising in the latest polls, Christie said he is confident -- though not cocky -- heading into Tuesday’s primary with his plane tickets purchased to head to South Carolina, one of the next early nominating states.

"I am ready to roll to South Carolina," he said. "My reservations are made."

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