Chris Christie caught on a hot mic saying Nikki Haley was going to get ‘smoked’

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was caught on a hot mic Wednesday night, appearing to say that Nikki Haley was going to get “smoked” in the Republican presidential race.

Christie’s comments came while he was offstage before his event in Windham, N.H., where he announced that he was dropping his presidential bid. The comments could be clearly heard on the livestream of the event.

He appeared to be talking about how much she had spent on TV ads — more than both DeSantis and himself, adding, “I mean, who’s punching above their weight and who’s getting a return on their investment?”

“She’s going to get smoked — you and I both know it. She’s not up to this,” Christie said.

He also talked about a call he had with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, saying, “DeSantis called me — petrified.”

The Christie campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the remarks.

Wayne MacDonald, a former chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party who chaired Christie’s state steering committee, told NBC News that he was the person Christie was talking to on the hot mic.

“He was talking to me on the hot mic, yeah, in there,” he said. “That’s when he was confirming that he was getting out of the race.”

A source familiar told NBC News that the Florida governor called Christie earlier today — after hearing rumors that he would be dropping out — and said that regardless of his decision, he appreciated his role in the race.

The source also said Christie went after Haley pretty hard in the conversation, calling her a joke and saying that she has performed terribly and is not up to the task.

Former President Donald Trump’s campaign reveled in the hot mic moment, posting the audio on his Truth Social account and tweeting about it.

“Chris Christie has been a friend for many years,” Haley said in a statement after Christie’s announcement. “I commend him on a hard-fought campaign. Voters have a clear choice in this election: the chaos and drama of the past or a new generation of conservative leadership. I will fight to earn every vote, so together we can build a strong and proud America.”