2024 Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said on Sunday that President Biden deserves credit for helping release the hostages in Gaza, but he criticized the deal as “lopsided” in favor of Hamas.
“Look, I think that any time there’s return of hostages, that’s incredibly helpful. And President Biden and his administration has played a role in it, so they deserve credit,” Christie said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “But, also, the terms of this release are really lopsided towards Hamas, as you know, three to one, in terms of hostage release and this pause that’s going on as well.”
Christie, the former New Jersey governor, was referring to the 150 Palestinian prisoners set to be released in exchange for 50 hostages taken by Hamas from Israel.
“So, look, I think everyone can always second-guess the negotiation from the outside. You’re not in the middle of it. What I’m grateful for is that these hostages have been returned to their families,” he added. “That’s extraordinarily important and humane to have that done.”
“I think President Biden deserves credit for that,” he added.
Christie continued to criticize Biden, however, for suggesting he hopes the truce will continue.
“He can’t be doing that kind of stuff, in my view, publicly,” Christie said. “His voice has to be just purely supportive of what Israel is doing to try to protect its territorial integrity and the safety and security of its nine million citizens. That’s got to be priority number one for the United States, and everyone in the Middle East has to know that that’s America’s number one priority.”
Christie, who is polling in the single digits among GOP primary voters ahead of 2024, has emerged in the race as one of the staunchest supporters of U.S. support for Israel and Ukraine. He has made the case that the wars are linked, noting the US-designated terrorist organization Hamas gets funding from Iran, North Korea, and Russia.