Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) and Gov. Chris Christie attend the Presidential Debate at Hofstra University (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

HEMPSTEAD, NY — Gov. Chris Christie defended Donald Trump's performance during Monday night's debate, but said both candidates made mistakes.

Speaking in the "spin room" at Hofstra University, Christie told MSNBC's Brian Williams the debate showed candidates who offer a choice between "something very different" in the form of Trump vs. "the same old thing" in Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Christie defended Trump for following the advice of his lawyers and accountants and not releasing his tax returns. When the audit cited by Trump is done, Christie said, Trump would make them public. IRS officials have said an audit does not prevent a candidate from releasing returns.

"(Clinton) doesn't like that answer and she likes to make hay out of it. But you also noticed when he talked about deleting 33,000 emails. Mrs. Clinton never answered that and (moderator) Lester Holt didn't hold her to account for it," Christie said.

Christie said a candidate can always do better, and recalled Obama's performance in his first presidential debate in 2008 was criticized.

Christie went after fact-checkers after Williams said the first debate produced more memos than ever, claiming fact-chckers have an agenda.

"Mrs. Clinton wasn't answering all the questions that she was uncomfortable with tonight. There were some questions she answered and there were many questions she didn't answer. I don't know if that's a fact-check problem or if that's an honesty problem," Christie said. He said that Trump and Clinton both got facts wrong but "when she's made the mistakes she's made them in office, which cost the American people dearly" and said she should be judged on her actions when she "held the reigns of power in her hand."

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

 

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