AP

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie files paperwork for 2024 Republican presidential bid

Jun 6, 2023, 2:38 PM

FILE - Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses a gathering during a town hall style meeting...

FILE - Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses a gathering during a town hall style meeting at New England College, April 20, 2023, in Henniker, N.H. Allies of former Christie have launched a new super PAC to support his expected candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie filed paperwork Tuesday formally launching his bid for the Republican nomination for president after casting himself as the only candidate willing to directly take on former President Donald Trump.

Christie, who also ran for president in 2016, was set to announce his campaign later Tuesday at a town hall in the early voting state of New Hampshire. After losing the nomination to Trump seven years ago, the former governor and federal prosecutor went on to become a close off-and-on adviser before breaking with the former president over his refusal to accept the results of the 2020 election.

Christie enters a growing primary field that already includes 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 be formally launching his own campaign in Iowa on Wednesday.

Christie, who during his time as New Jersey’s governor established a reputation as a fighter with a knack for creating viral moments of confrontation, faces an uphill battle to the nomination in a party that remains closely aligned with the former president, despite Trump’s reelection loss in 2020 and Republicans’ poorer-than-expected showing in the 2022 midterm elections.

Christie allies launch super PAC ahead of expected 2024 GOP presidential nomination

Christie has cast himself as the only person with the guts to take on Trump directly and has warned of a repeat of 2016 if candidates fail to confront him.

“I’m not dumb. The way to win is to beat the guy who’s ahead. And so what would a campaign look like? A campaign would look like a direct frontal challenge to Donald Trump trying to return to the presidency,” Christie recently said in a podcast interview.

Anti-Trump Republicans are particularly eager to see Christie spar with Trump on a debate stage — if, of course, Trump agrees to participate in primary debates and Christie meets the stringent fundraising criteria set by the Republican National Committee for participation.

But Christie has also said he would not run as a kamikaze candidate to take down Trump if he didn’t believe there was a viable path to his own victory. “I’m not a paid assassin,” he recently told Politico.

His campaign will test the appetite among Republican voters for someone who has expressed support for many of Trump’s policies but has criticized the former president’s conduct.

Christie has rejected Trump’s lies that the 2020 election was stolen and has urged the party to move on or risk future losses.

Other Republicans with similar views, including former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, have opted against their own campaigns, expressing concerns that having more candidates in the race will only benefit Trump.

Former VP Pence files paperwork launching 2024 presidential bid in challenge to Trump

Christie was at one point seen as one of the Republican Party’s brightest political stars as the popular Republican governor of a Democratic state. But despite persistent urging from top donors and party officials, he declined to run for president in 2012. By the time he announced in 2016, his reputation had been tarnished by the “Bridgegate” scandal in which aides were accused of wreaking traffic havoc in Fort Lee, New Jersey, in an apparent effort to punish the city’s mayor for failing to endorse his reelection bid.

In the crowded 2016 GOP primary, Christie portrayed himself as a brash, tough-talking East Coaster who could “tell it like it is” — only to be eclipsed by the brasher Trump.

After hinging his 2016 campaign on New Hampshire, where he spent weeks holding dozens of town-hall events — to the frustration of many New Jersey voters — Christie ended up coming in a disappointing sixth in the state’s primary. He dropped out shortly afterward.

Two weeks later, Christie stunned even some former aides when he endorsed Trump, becoming the first sitting governor and former rival to get behind the emerging GOP front-runner. His announcement undercut rival Marco Rubio at a crucial moment — the day after a debate that had been seen as a possible turning point in the race — helping to pave the way for Trump’s nomination and eventual win.

“The line of supporting Donald Trump starts behind me,” Christie has said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis launches 2024 presidential campaign to challenge Trump

The former governor, who has known Trump for nearly 20 years, has had a complicated friendship with the former developer and reality TV star. At times, he was one of Trump’s closest advisers: He was on the shortlist to serve as Trump’s vice president, oversaw Trump’s early White House transition efforts, said he was offered — and turned down — multiple Cabinet positions, and helped Trump prepare for each of his general election debates in 2016 and 2020. (It was during those debate preparations that Christie believes he caught COVID-19, landing him in intensive care.)

But Christie also clashed with Trump at times and has described the former president’s refusal to accept his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden as a breaking point. In appearances and interviews, Christie says he was “incredibly disappointed 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 become one of Trump’s top Republican critics and argues the party must disavow Trump’s false claims and move past his complaints to focus on the future — or keep losing elections.

“As Republicans, we need to free ourselves from the quicksand of endless grievances. We need to turn our attention to the future and quit wallowing in the past. We need to face the realities of the 2020 election and learn — not hide — from them,” he wrote in his book, “Republican Rescue.” He called on the party to rid itself of conspiracy complaints and focus on providing voters with a positive alternative to Democratic policies.

Christie has also been open about his plans, saying since 2021 that he would run if he believed he could be elected.

“If I see a pathway to winning, I’ll run,” he told The Associated Press. “And I feel like I have the skills and the talent and the ability to be able to make a difference in our party and in the country.”

KSL 5 TV Live

AP

FILE - Boeing's Starliner capsule atop an Atlas V rocket is seen at Space Launch Complex 41 at the ...

Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press

Boeing’s 1st astronaut flight now set for June after a review of small leak on new capsule

Boeing is now aiming for its first astronaut launch at the beginning of June, after spending the past few weeks struggling with more problems on the space capsule.

12 hours ago

$20 bills...

Hannah Schoenbaum Associated Press

Utah man declined $100K offer to travel to Congo on ‘security job’ that was covert coup attempt

The friend of a prominent Congolese opposition leader’s son said he turned down a six-figure offer to travel there from the U.S. as part of the family’s security detail in what turned out to be a failed coup attempt.

14 hours ago

Colorado State Capitol Building, partially obscured by trees, on East Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colo...

Jesse Bedayn, Associated Press/Report for America

Colorado governor signs bills regulating funeral homes after discovery of 190 rotting bodies

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed two bills into law Friday that overhaul state oversight of the funeral home industry after a series of gruesome discoveries, including 190 discomposing bodies in a facility, families being sent fake ashes and the unauthorized sale of body parts.

15 hours ago

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA - MAY 24: Travelers make their way through Ronald Reagan Washington National Ai...

Associated Press

What’s open and closed on Memorial Day

Businesses increasingly have chosen to stay open on Memorial Day, leading to what is now one of the biggest retail sales and travel weekends of the year.

16 hours ago

FILE - Associate Justice Samuel Alito joins other members of the Supreme Court as they pose for a n...

Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press

Democratic senators request meeting with Chief Justice Roberts over flags flown at Alito’s homes

Two Democratic senators are requesting a meeting with Chief Justice John Roberts after reports that two separate flags carried by rioters at the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol had flown outside of houses owned by Justice Samuel Alito.

1 day ago

An iPhone is taped to the back of a toilet seat on an American Airlines flight from Charlotte, N.C....

Associated Press

American Airlines retreats after blaming a 9-year-old for not seeing a hidden camera in a lavatory

American Airlines is walking back a court filing in which it seemed to blame a 9-year-old girl for not noticing a camera phone in a lavatory.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie files paperwork for 2024 Republican presidential bid