Meg Whitman Blasts Christie, Calls Trump a 'Dishonest Demagogue'

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman introduced New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at a campaign event in Epping, New Hampshire, in early February. (Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman, who's been moonlighting as national finance co-chair for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's failed presidential bid, on Sunday issued a statement blasting Christie for endorsing Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

Whitman's statement was issued via NBC's "Meet the Press" program Sunday:

Chris Christie's endorsement of Donald Trump is an astonishing display of political opportunism. Donald Trump is unfit to be President. He is a dishonest demagogue who plays to our worst fears. Trump would take America on a dangerous journey. Christie knows all that and indicated as much many times publicly. The governor is mistaken if he believes he can now count on my support, and I call on Christie's donors and supporters to reject the Governor and Donald Trump outright. I believe they will. For some of us, principle and country still matter.

Christie was on ABC's "This Week." His response:

Well, listen, I love Meg Whitman. She's a great friend to me and to Mary Pat [Christie's wife], always has been. We obviously, from that statement, have a difference of political opinion. And that's OK. That's what makes this country great is that people can have differences of political opinion.

And so Meg has always been free to express her views and I honor her. And we absolutely adore our relationship with her and I'm sure it'll continue.

Whitman is best known politically for her unsuccessful bid to become California governor in 2010, a race in which she spent more than $140 million of her own money. Whitman amassed her fortune as chief of eBay, a company she led from 1998 through 2007.

"This Week" host George Stephanopoulos challenged Christie on how he can support a candidate he very recently ridiculed for the grandiosity and vagueness of his campaign platform. Christie said Trump will eventually come up with a plan to pay for his promised wall with Mexico and deliver a blueprint to deal with long-term financial challenges for Social Security and Medicare.

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Then Stephanopolous played a clip focusing on Christie's criticism of Trump's pledge to ban all Muslims from entering the United States and asked Christie to react:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: The idea of banning all Muslims from this country is ridiculous. And the reason it's ridiculous is because you don't need to do that to make America safe.

When Donald Trump said that, he was dead wrong. And he's dead wrong now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is he dead wrong now?

CHRISTIE: Listen, and that's not what he says any longer. He's backed off of that position over the course of time.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Only for citizens.

CHRISTIE: Over the -- well, but that's a big difference, George. That's a big difference from what his position...

STEPHANOPOULOS: He's still banning Muslims...

CHRISTIE: -- was.

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- from coming into the United States.

CHRISTIE: It's a big difference from where the position was and -- and what we need to do for...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you endorse the one he has now?

CHRISTIE: -- (INAUDIBLE) excuse me. Let me answer, George.

What we need to do is have a coherent national security policy that's very clear, that says that we need to go after folks who want to do harm to this country. And having good, competent law enforcement. Mr. Trump has talked about the idea of making sure we restore NSA authority, he's -- which some people in this race have not been in favor of, like Senator Cruz.

He has stood up and said that he wants to make our military stronger, which we need to do. He's stood up for law enforcement in ways that other candidates in this race have not done.

So let's not just take one section of it and make that the entire national security policy. There's been a lot of other conversations about it.

And by the way, I'll continue to have conversations with him about this as the campaign goes forward, to be able to make all of these things more fulsome.

But we're, again, at the end of February, George. This is the -- Donald Trump is going to...

STEPHANOPOULOS: (INAUDIBLE) June?

CHRISTIE: -- Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee for president of the United States. And he is going to bring this race to Hillary Clinton. He is the best candidate to beat Hillary Clinton in November and the best candidate to restore national security for our country.