Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced that he is running for the Republican nomination for president in 2024, a race in which former President Donald Trump has already consolidated the support of more than half of his party, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS finds.
Christie said that he believes that if the Republican Party wants to win elections in the future, it needs to move past Trump, who is the first choice for 53 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters in the primary.
“The Republican Party has been losing now for nearly seven years,” said Christie. “After Donald Trump’s win in 2016 — which I was a large part of — we haven’t been able to win anything since then. Lost the House in 2018, lost the Senate and the White House in 2020, those Georgia senate seats in early 2021, and we horribly underperformed in 2022. Lost governorships, lost a senate seat, and barely won the House of Representatives when everyone thought we would be at 240 or 250 seats. So we’re tired of losing!”
Christie’s candidacy hardly seems like the antidote to losing Republicans.
He failed to win the GOP nomination for president in 2016 and left office in 2018 with an unprecedented 15% approval rating, the lowest of any New Jersey governor in recorded history.
As governor, Christie closed Planned Parenthood women’s health clinics, charged retirees and public workers more for health benefits, rang up $8 billion in corporate welfare, and used public resources to punish political opponents.
“His minions were convicted for shutting down the George Washington Bridge, but those criminals were later freed by the courts, which ruled that bribery is legal and cheating is perfectly acceptable in politics,” said Democratic strategist James Devine.
Christie is facing an uphill battle in the Republican primary.
He is competing against a crowded field that not only includes Trump, but to make his effort anything other than a suicide mission he will need to best Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former Vice President Mike Pence, former UN ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nimarata Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, billionaire Vivek Ramaswamy, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Christie seems to think he can fit in a Republican primary field that remains undivided.
“I am confident that I can win this race,” Christie said. “I have the experience, the temperament, and the record to lead this country.”
Devine pointed out that he also has some baggage.
Christie took shots at Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner, during his campaign launch, saying “The grift from this family is breathtaking. It’s breathtaking. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Kushner walk out of the White House, and months later get $2 billion from the Saudis.”
“Chris Christie brings a fascinating dynamic to the 2024 race,” said former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. “For all of their attributes, neither DeSantis, Scott, Haley or Pence can go after Trump like this.”
Trump is the strong favorite for New Jersey Republicans in a potential 2024 Republican Presidential primary with 73 percent saying they are ‘definitely’ or ‘likely’ to vote for the 2020 election loser, but only 25 percent of them say that they would consider supporting Christie.