Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie entered the race for the 2024 presidency on Tuesday, submitting his official paperwork ahead of a planned launch event.
Christie has been outspoken in his criticism of former President Donald Trump, who continues to lead the Republicans in the polls, and he’s likely to continue those lines of attack now that he’s in the running.
Christie aimed squarely at the former president as he announced his candidacy during a town hall meeting Tuesday night at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics in Manchester.
“The person I’m talking about who is obsessed with the mirror? Who never admits a mistake? Who never admits a mistake and always finds someone else – and something else – to blame for everything that goes wrong, but finds every reason to take credit for “Everything that goes well is Donald Trump,” Christie said.
As a political analyst, Christie said on ABC News’ This Week last month that GOP candidates cannot beat Trump by “hugs him.”
In 2016, Christie ran against Trump for the Republican nomination but dropped out after finishing sixth in the New Hampshire primary. The two later became allies, with Christie leading Trump’s presidential transition team until shortly after the election, and then working on it debate preparations against Joe Biden in 2020.
But after Trump refused to concede defeat in 2020, Christie emerged as a vocal GOP critic, instead making unsubstantiated claims about widespread voter fraud.
In a current interview With conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Christie slammed Trump for possibly skipping the first Republican primary debates this summer.
“If he really cares about the country, then he’s going to go there and he shouldn’t be afraid,” Christie said.
“I’m sorry to see that Donald Trump feels he is in danger of losing his lead when he takes the stage,” he said. “If his ideas are indeed that great, if his leadership is that stellar, then his lead will only increase when he comes on stage, not decrease.”
Christie has also voiced his displeasure with the former president at several town hall meetings in the early primary state of New Hampshire in recent months.
during one There is a town hall meeting In April, Christie devoted his entire opening statement to disparaging Trump.
“The case against Donald Trump begins tonight,” Christie said. “You’re not going to hit someone by closing your eyes, clicking your heels together three times and saying, ‘There’s no place like home.’ It will not work.”
“Donald Trump is a TV star, nothing more, nothing less,” he added. “Let me tell you that when he’s brought back to the White House, the reruns will be worse than the original show.”
At another town hall in March at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, Christie suggested that Trump’s 2024 challenger must have the “ability” to debate him, predicting that such a scenario would “not bode well” for Trump come to an end”.
Christie served two terms as governor of New Jersey from 2010 to 2018. His tenure was tested in the so-called Bridgegate case, a 2013 political scandal involving lane closures at the George Washington Bridge in alleged retaliation against a Democratic mayor who refused to endorse Christie’s re-election.
After a federal investigation, Christie allies were sentenced to short prison terms in 2017 after a jury found they closed two of the three lanes leading to the bridge, causing a massive traffic jam in Fort Lee, New Jersey. (The Supreme Court later overturned the convictions.)
Prior to his election to governor, Christie served as US Attorney for the District of New Jersey under President George W. Bush from 2002 to 2008.
Christie joins a field of at least eight candidates for the 2024 GOP nomination, including Trump, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, the former Gov of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. Former Vice President Mike Pence is expected to announce a potential bid on Wednesday.