OAN’s Brooke Mallory
2:58 PM – Wednesday, May 31, 2023
According to two insiders close to the former New Jersey governor, Chris Christie will be declaring his presidential candidacy for 2024 on Tuesday during a town hall in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Christie, who stumbled to a sixth-place finish in the 2016 New Hampshire primary, is now making a second attempt to win the Republican presidential nomination.
Eight years ago, after withdrawing from the race, Christie endorsed Donald Trump only days before Super Tuesday, the U.S. presidential primary election day where the greatest number of U.S. states hold primary elections and caucuses. This gave Trump’s momentum, at the time, an even more credible push.
Christie and Trump soon grew closer, with the former governor leading Trump’s transition team and helping him get ready for the 2020 debates with Joe Biden.
However, Christie has now become a strong vocal critic of Trump, who is still believed to be the Republican front-runner for the 2024 election, after the former president refused to accept Biden’s victory in the 2020 election and advanced claims of massive electoral fraud.
Christie has persisted in criticizing Trump, particularly in his role as an ABC News political contributor. Christie asserted during an appearance on the segment “This Week” earlier this month that GOP candidates would not be able to defeat Trump by “cozying up to him.”
Christie decided to make his presidential announcement in the swing state of New Hampshire after participating in a number of town hall events during the previous few months.
In March, at another town hall in Manchester, a voter asked Christie why he did not challenge Trump in 2016. Christie responded to the query claiming that he and the other candidates made a “strategic error” by underestimating Trump, due to his “lack of policy expertise” in comparison to other candidates. Christie continued, saying he and the other Republicans thought they had a chance to narrow the field and face Trump one-on-one, but “none of us ever got there.”
Christie also defended his past decision to support Trump in 2016 after withdrawing from the race, stating that he had determined at the time that Trump would be a better choice than Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton. When Christie had announced his prior support for Trump, John Kasich of Ohio, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Marco Rubio of Florida were all still in the GOP presidential primary. Christie claimed he thought he could mold Trump into a better candidate and president, but insisted that his predictions turned out to be unfounded.
“Tonight is the beginning of the case against Donald Trump,” Christie said. “You’re not going to beat someone by closing your eyes, clicking your heels together three times, and saying, ‘There’s no place like home.’ That’s not going to work… Donald Trump is a TV star, nothing more, nothing less,” he continued. “Let me suggest to you that in putting him back in the White House, the reruns will be worse than the original show.”
From 2010 until 2018, Christie led New Jersey as the state’s governor for two terms. The “Bridgegate” controversy, which involved lane closures at the George Washington Bridge in 2013 as suspected reprisals against a Democrat mayor who refused to support Christie’s reelection, cast doubt on his administration.
Christie also served as the District of New Jersey’s U.S. Attorney from 2002 to 2008, during President George W. Bush’s administration, prior to his role as governor.
For the 2024 GOP nomination, Christie will face off against Trump, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, businessman Perry Johnson, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and talk radio host Larry Elder. In the upcoming weeks, it is also rumored that former vice president Mike Pence will declare his intentions to run as well.
According to a Monmouth University poll released this week, Christie has a very low favorability rating among Republicans. Only 21% of registered voters who identify as Republicans or lean right think favorably of Christie, while 47% think negatively of him, 24% say they have no opinion, and 8% say they haven’t heard enough about him to come to a consensus.
Christie’s ratings in the poll were the lowest of the prospective Republican presidential contenders examined, and they were especially insignificant when compared to those of Trump and DeSantis, who both had favorability ratings above 70.
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