By JILL COLVIN and HOLLY RAMER Related Press
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie filed paperwork Tuesday formally launching his bid for the Republican nomination for president after casting himself as the one candidate prepared to straight tackle former President Donald Trump.
Christie, who additionally ran for president in 2016, was set to announce his marketing campaign later Tuesday at a city corridor within the early voting state of New Hampshire, after Metro went to press. After shedding the nomination to Trump seven years in the past, the previous governor and federal prosecutor went on to change into an in depth off-and-on adviser earlier than breaking with the previous president over his refusal to just accept the outcomes of the 2020 election.
Christie enters a rising major area that already contains Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina. Former Vice President Mike Pence will probably be formally launching his personal marketing campaign in Iowa on Wednesday.
Christie, who throughout his time as New Jersey’s governor established a repute as a fighter with a knack for creating viral moments of confrontation, faces an uphill battle to the nomination in a celebration that continues to be intently aligned with the previous president, regardless of Trump’s reelection loss in 2020 and Republicans’ poorer-than-expected displaying within the 2022 midterm elections.
Christie has solid himself as the one particular person with the center to tackle Trump straight and has warned of a repeat of 2016 if candidates fail to confront him.
“I’m not dumb. The way in which to win is to beat the man who’s forward. And so what would a marketing campaign seem like? A marketing campaign would seem like a direct frontal problem to Donald Trump making an attempt to return to the presidency,” Christie just lately mentioned in a podcast interview.
Anti-Trump Republicans are significantly desirous to see Christie spar with Trump on a debate stage — if, in fact, Trump agrees to take part in major debates and Christie meets the stringent fundraising standards set by the Republican Nationwide Committee for participation.
However Christie has additionally mentioned he wouldn’t run as a kamikaze candidate to take down Trump if he didn’t consider there was a viable path to his personal victory. “I’m not a paid murderer,” he just lately instructed Politico.
His marketing campaign will take a look at the urge for food amongst Republican voters for somebody who has expressed assist for a lot of of Trump’s insurance policies however has criticized the previous president’s conduct.
Christie has rejected Trump’s lies that the 2020 election was stolen and has urged the occasion to maneuver on or danger future losses.
Different Republicans with comparable views, together with former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, have opted in opposition to their very own campaigns, expressing considerations that having extra candidates within the race will solely profit Trump.
Christie was at one level seen as one of many Republican Celebration’s brightest political stars as the favored Republican governor of a Democratic state. However regardless of persistent urging from high donors and occasion officers, he declined to run for president in 2012. By the point he introduced in 2016, his repute had been tarnished by the “Bridgegate” scandal by which aides had been accused of wreaking visitors havoc in Fort Lee, New Jersey, in an obvious effort to punish the town’s mayor for failing to endorse his reelection bid.
Within the crowded 2016 GOP major, Christie portrayed himself as a brash, tough-talking East Coaster who might “inform it like it’s” — solely to be eclipsed by the brasher Trump.
After hinging his 2016 marketing campaign on New Hampshire, the place he spent weeks holding dozens of town-hall occasions — to the frustration of many New Jersey voters — Christie ended up coming in a disappointing sixth within the state’s major. He dropped out shortly afterward.
Two weeks later, Christie shocked even some former aides when he endorsed Trump, changing into the primary sitting governor and former rival to get behind the rising GOP front-runner. His announcement undercut rival Marco Rubio at an important second — the day after a debate that had been seen as a attainable turning level within the race — serving to to pave the way in which for Trump’s nomination and eventual win.
“The road of supporting Donald Trump begins behind me,” Christie has mentioned.
The previous governor, who has recognized Trump for almost 20 years, has had a sophisticated friendship with the previous developer and actuality TV star. At instances, he was considered one of Trump’s closest advisers: He was on the shortlist to function Trump’s vice chairman, oversaw Trump’s early White Home transition efforts, mentioned he was provided — and turned down — a number of Cupboard positions, and helped Trump put together for every of his normal election debates in 2016 and 2020. (It was throughout these debate preparations that Christie believes he caught COVID-19, touchdown him in intensive care.)
However Christie additionally clashed with Trump at instances and has described the previous president’s refusal to just accept his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden as a breaking level. In appearances and interviews, Christie says he was “extremely dissatisfied and disillusioned” by Trump’s refusal to concede, which culminated in his followers’ violent storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6 in an effort to halt the certification of Biden’s win.
Christie has since change into considered one of Trump’s high Republican critics and argues the occasion should disavow Trump’s false claims and transfer previous his complaints to concentrate on the longer term — or preserve shedding elections.
“As Republicans, we have to free ourselves from the quicksand of limitless grievances. We have to flip our consideration to the longer term and stop wallowing previously. We have to face the realities of the 2020 election and be taught — not disguise — from them,” he wrote in his guide, “Republican Rescue.” He referred to as on the occasion to rid itself of conspiracy complaints and concentrate on offering voters with a optimistic different to Democratic insurance policies.
Christie has additionally been open about his plans, saying since 2021 that he would run if he believed he might be elected.
“If I see a pathway to profitable, I’ll run,” he instructed The Related Press. “And I really feel like I’ve the talents and the expertise and the flexibility to have the ability to make a distinction in our occasion and within the nation.”