Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie was mocked online on Wednesday evening after he attempted during the second presidential debate to give Donald Trump a new nickname: “Donald Duck.”
“I want to look in that camera now and tell you, Donald, I know you’re watching, you can’t help yourself.,” Mr Christie said. “You’re not here tonight, not because of polls and not because of your indictments. You’re not here tonight because you’re afraid of being on this stage and defending your record. You’re ducking these things.”
“Let me tell you what’s going to happen,” he continued. “You keep doing that, and no one up here is going to call you Donald Trump anymore. We’re gonna call you Donald Duck.”
The comments, met with a mix of cheers and boos in the debate hall, were mocked online.
Former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly opined on X that the “‘Donald Duck’ line was lame.”
Daily Beast reporter Justin Baragon, meanwhile, said the insult shows “we’ve reached new levels of cringe now.”
Despite the jokes at his expense, Mr Christie appeared to double down on the nickname, with his campaign tweeting a Donald Duck gif on X on Wednesday.
— Chris Christie (@GovChristie) September 28, 2023
Multiple people compared Chris Christie’s awkward face after making his nickname jab to a popular meme featuring comedian shrugging.
Christie literally did the meme with the Donald Duck line 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/ZMxthhNENp
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) September 28, 2023
“Christie literally did the meme with the Donald Duck line,” Greg Price of the State Freedom Caucaus Network wrote on X.
Flint-based water activist Mari Copeny, meanwhile, said the nickname wasn’t an insult to Donald Trump – but to Donald Duck.
“The real Donald Duck doesn’t deserve this type of slander,” she wrote online.
Mr Christie’s swipe at Donald Trump wasn’t the only insult against the former president during the debate.
“Where’s Joe Biden?” Florida governor Ron DeSantis said during the debate. “He’s completely missing in action from leadership. You know who else is missing in action? Donald Trump is missing in action. He should be on this stage tonight.”
“He owes it to you to defend his record where they added $7.8 trillion to the debt,” he added. “That set the stage for the inflation we have now.”
“Donald Trump hides behind the walls of his golf clubs and won’t show up here to answer questions like all the rest of us are up here to answer,” Mr Christie said elsewhere during the debate. “He put $7 trillion on the debt, he should be in this room to answer those questions for the people you talk about who are suffering.”