Donald Trump’s Super Tuesday speech had all the optics of a picture-perfect election event: a gilded room, a podium with his name in front a row of American flags. Then former presidential candidate and now-Trump supporter Chris Christie took the stage.
“He's shown himself to be a fighter,” Christie said of the GOP frontrunner. “A leader who speaks plainly to the American people.”
But when Trump took to the podium and Christie took a prominent position just behind the GOP frontrunner, the chatter on social media quickly turned.
Twitter users were quick to seize upon Christie’s facial expression during parts of Trump’s speech, which many described as sad, scared, or miserable. The hashtag #FreeChristie took off.
The New Jersey governor’s name was the number one trend in the U.S. on Twitter, overtaking search interest in Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Many took to Twitter to mock the apparent awkwardness of the situation, with some joking that Christie was being held against his will:
There were also a spike in searches for “Chris, Christie, Vice President” during Trump’s speech. Trump introduced the New Jersey governor as a “friend for many years,” and did not dismiss the idea of having Christie as a potential running mate saying, “he’s got the talent.”
ABC’s Evan McMurry and Dennis Powell contributed to this report.
— Christopher Ayers (@wfyichris) March 2, 2016
Why did Chris Christie have such a blank stare last night? https://t.co/GbmmWickP3
— Michael Schwab (@michaelschwab13) March 2, 2016
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) March 2, 2016
UPDATE: Chris Christie just finished cutting up Mr. Trump’s waffles just the way he likes them.
— scott feschuk (@scottfeschuk) March 2, 2016
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) March 2, 2016
— andy lassner (@andylassner) March 2, 2016
Chris Christie looks like my dog when she realizes our car ride was to the vet
— Matthew (@Matthops82) March 2, 2016
Chris Christie looks like he's in a hostage video
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) March 2, 2016
— Susan (@Susan_Larson) March 2, 2016
— Holly Fussell (@redhairbluevote) March 2, 2016
"Pssst! Chris! Are you alright?!" pic.twitter.com/N9XehmKaAq
— Brian Ries (@moneyries) March 2, 2016
"Last thing I remember is being thrown into a car with a 'Make America Great Again' sticker...how did I get here?" https://t.co/DoY2z4aY3i
— Emma Hankins (@emma_hankins) March 2, 2016