Chris Christie: ‘More likely than not’ Stephen A. Smith runs for president

Former GOP presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie claimed it’s “more likely than not” that sports commentator Stephen A. Smith runs for president in the future.

“I don’t think it’s imminent, but will he run someday? I think it’s more likely than not that he would,” Christie said in a report by The Washington Post.

Smith, 56, the host of ESPN’s debate show “First Take” has sparked talk of a potential political future for years. He’s become even more entangled in politics after interviewing Christie last year and calling out the primary parties for their chosen candidates.

Despite being a primarily Democratic voter, Smith criticized the Democratic Party for choosing President Biden, who is 81, as its candidate to attempt to beat out former President Trump this fall. While critical of Biden’s age, Smith has defended him from “disrespectful” comments from far-right commentators like Sean Hannity.

Smith has also criticized Trump’s criminal hush money trial, which is currently underway. He argued it was the Democratic Party’s strategy to entangle Trump in legal problems ahead of the election so he would lose support with voters, but he wants to see the former president “lose the right way” in November.

Members of both parties have spoken to Smith about running for office, including a Pennsylvania Senate seat at one point. Still, Smith thinks the only office that would interest him is the Oval Office, the Post reported.

“The only office that would do it for me is the presidency of the United States,” he said. “And I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell the American people would ever vote for me.”

That might not be the case. The website Mediaite named Smith the eighth-most powerful person in media last year, and Christie said voters were so receptive of their conversation that they sent him campaign donations afterward.

“It was a great point of conversation with people, too,” Christie said of the interview with Smith. “I forwarded that text to donors who hadn’t given and it moved some of those people, as well.”

Smith said in the interview he would have Biden and Trump, the two presumptive candidates for the presidential election this fall, on his show.

According to Adam Mendelsohn, a former adviser to Arnold Schwarzenegger and current media adviser to LeBron James, Biden and Trump may consider joining Smith for a conversation. He noted that politicians used to join Johnny Carson and Arsenio Hall, and sports is much more dominant in popular culture now.

“It’s hard to deny the power of Stephen A.’s platform, and it’s not just going on the show,” Mendelsohn said. “It’s how much it gets aggregated. So many people are teed up to aggregate whatever he does.”

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