Chris Christie: Debate change isn't a 'demotion' but a 'transfer'

Story highlights

  • Chris Christie characterized his ouster from the main GOP debate stage as a "transfer" rather than a "demotion" on Friday
  • The New Jersey governor once led presidential national polls

Washington (CNN)Chris Christie characterized his ouster from the main GOP debate stage as a "transfer" rather than a "demotion" on Friday.

The New Jersey governor once led presidential national polls but now has such weak numbers that he has not qualified for the premier event at next week's Fox Business debate.
"I don't see it as a big blow at all, and I don't see it as a demotion. I see it as a transfer," Christie told CNN's Jake Tapper on "The Lead." "The fact is, we're going to be on the stage. We're going to be debating. People are going to be watching. And, most importantly, Jake, you are going to be watching. And if I do really well, you are going to report on it, the same way you have reported on it in debates one, two and three."
    Christie also commented on a viral video of him discussing in personal terms the problems of drug addiction, saying drug use is a mistake but something that should be treated as a disease.
    "What we have to do in this country is to start to acknowledge that and say, yes, it was a bad choice to use drugs," Christie said. "But haven't all of us made bad choices in our life? And we were just fortunate that it didn't involve an addiction to drugs or alcohol."