Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman garnered attention last summer when she hooked onto New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s run for the Republican nomination, and later in November endorsed him.
However, Whitman is now harshly criticizing Christie for backing front-runner Donald Trump. Christie, who dropped out of the race after a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary, on Feb. 26 surprised the political world when he endorsed the billionaire real estate developer, calling Trump the GOP’s best chance to be leading Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Christie’s move generated a lot of criticism from many in the Republican Party as well as the conservative and mainstream media. On Feb. 28, Whitman joined in the condemnation, calling Christie’s decision “an astonishing display of political opportunism.”
In a statement sent to NBC News’ Meet the Press show, the HPE CEO slammed both Trump and Christie, and urged others not to follow the governor’s lead.
“Donald Trump is unfit to be President,” she wrote. “He is a dishonest demagogue who plays to our worst fears. Trump would take America on a dangerous journey. Christie knows all that and indicated as much many times publicly. The Governor is mistaken if he believes he can now count on my support, and I call on Christie’s donors and supporters to reject the Governor and Donald Trump outright. I believe they will. For some of us, principle and country still matter.”
Whitman is no stranger to the political world. Between making a fortune as eBay’s chief executive and taking over a troubled Hewlett-Packard—and overseeing the company’s breakup—she spent millions of her own dollars running for the governor’s job in California, losing handily to Jerry Brown. It was the same year that former HP CEO Carly Fiorina lost in her bid to oust Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.
In the 2012 presidential race, Whitman backed Mitt Romney in his losing effort against President Obama, and in November 2015 told CNN that she didn’t believe Fiorina’s corporate experience was enough to overcome her political shortcomings in her failed presidential run.