|Illustrations by DonkeyHotey|
By Maggie Haberman
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey endorsed Donald J. Trump on Friday, a major turn in a wild race and one that gives the New York businessman a major boost as he heads into the pivotal Super Tuesday contests.
Mr. Christie was a candidate for president himself until he came in sixth place in New Hampshire’s primary. Seeing his political career facing an abrupt conclusion following his failed presidential campaign, he expressed his anger Friday at Senator Marco Rubio, who he was said to be upset with, blaming the “super PAC” backing the Florida senator for halting his momentum in New Hampshire with a string of slash-and-burn ads.
The endorsement came a day after Mr. Rubio, in a withering debate performance, turned his guns on Mr. Trump for the first time, and followed up with his attacks on Friday morning, calling Mr. Trump a “con artist.”
At Friday’s news conference announcing the endorsement, which was peppered with demeaning insults of Mr. Rubio by the two men, Mr. Christie repeatedly attacked Mr. Rubio, calling his behavior at the debate “desperate” and reflective of a “losing campaign.”
Mr. Trump welcomed the endorsement with warm praise for the New Jersey governor.