Newsdeck

2024 U.S. Elections

Trump backer-turned-critic Chris Christie to make White House run official

Trump backer-turned-critic Chris Christie to make White House run official
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks during the 2021 Republican Jewish Coalition National Leadership Meeting at the Venetian hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 06 November 2021. EPA-EFE/CAROLINE BREHMAN

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is expected to formally announce his 2024 presidential campaign on Tuesday in New Hampshire, joining a growing Republican field led by Donald Trump.

Christie, who served as an adviser to Trump’s successful 2016 campaign but has since become a vocal critic of the former president over his false claims that the 2020 election was rigged, is scheduled to hold a town hall at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

A former federal prosecutor, Christie, 60, has argued he is the only potential rival with the skills and willingness to attack Trump directly.

Christie has not fared well in public opinion polling thus far, however. He netted just 1% support from potential Republican primary voters in a Reuters/Ipsos poll in May, compared to Trump’s 49% support and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ 19% support.

Other Republicans seeking to challenge President Joe Biden include former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and U.S. Senator Tim Scott. Former Vice President Mike Pence is set to enter the race on Wednesday.

Christie ran for president in 2016 but ended his bid after a disappointing finish in the New Hampshire primary and became the first major party figure to throw his support behind Trump.

He since has urged Republicans to disavow Trump’s assertions about the 2020 election and told reporters he would not vote for Trump in 2024, even if Trump won the nomination.

That strategy may entice Republican voters who are ready to move past Trump, but it remains unclear whether any Republican can prevail without the support of Trump’s still-loyal base.

As an underdog, Christie could end up playing the role of spoiler, a position he found himself occupying in 2016, when his dissection of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio at a debate days before Christie dropped out of the race blunted Rubio’s momentum.

Christie first emerged as a national figure on the strength of his two terms from 2009 to 2017 as governor of Democratic-leaning New Jersey, where his confrontational approach to politics earned him plaudits from admirers and accusations of bullying from detractors.

His tenure was tarnished by the so-called “Bridgegate” scandal, in which two allies deliberately shut down lanes at the heavily trafficked George Washington Bridge between New Jersey and New York City to punish a local mayor for failing to endorse Christie’s re-election.

Christie has said he was unaware of the plot at the time, but witnesses at a criminal trial for the two allies testified that the governor knew about the lane closures.

Despite his early support for Trump, Christie was passed over for vice president and for attorney general, and was fired as the head of Trump’s transition team just three days after the 2016 election.

(Reporting by Joseph AxEditing by Colleen Jenkins and Alistair Bell)

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.