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Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a high GOP Trump critic, launches 2024 presidential marketing campaign

U.S. Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey governor Chris Christie speaks throughout the Heritage Motion for America presidential candidate discussion board in Greenville, South Carolina on September 18, 2015.

Chris Keane | Reuters

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie introduced he’s operating for president, injecting a dose of anti-Trump criticism right into a Republican major discipline that has largely been reluctant to cross its main candidate.

Talking with no script at a city corridor occasion in Manchester, New Hampshire, Christie referred to as out the previous president by identify as he spoke at size about what he noticed as a disaster of management at a important second in American historical past.

“A lonely, self-consumed, self-serving mirror hog isn’t a frontrunner,” Christie mentioned.

“The particular person I’m speaking about who’s obsessive about the mirror, who by no means admits a mistake, who by no means admits a fault,” Christie then clarified, “is Donald Trump.”

Christie additionally appeared to acknowledge that he’s thought of a protracted shot within the Republican major, the place Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are the clear front-runners.

“I am going to say to you tonight that I can not assure you success in what I am about to do. However I assure you that by the tip of it you will have little question in your thoughts who I’m and what I stand for and whether or not I deserve it,” Christie mentioned.

“I intend to hunt the Republican nomination for president of the USA in 2024, and I need your assist,” he mentioned.

Christie, 60, introduced his marketing campaign in the identical state the place his final presidential bid had come undone.

Christie positioned sixth in that state’s 2016 major and dropped out of the race shortly thereafter. In a shocking transfer, Christie endorsed then-candidate Donald Trump simply days later. He went on to assist prep Trump for his debate in opposition to now-President Joe Biden within the 2020 contest.

However his assist for Trump dried up quickly after, as the previous president, following his loss to Biden, fed his supporters a firehose of conspiracy theories and false claims of widespread voter fraud whereas pushing to overturn his defeat.

Like many Republicans, Christie criticized Trump after a violent mob of the then-president’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, derailing the peaceable switch of energy to Biden. However whereas a lot of the GOP institution softened its stance on Trump within the ensuing months, Christie stored up his criticism.

“I feel he is a coward and I feel he is a puppet of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” Christie mentioned final month in response to Trump’s feedback in regards to the Ukraine battle throughout a CNN city corridor.

Christie, whose aggressive takedown of Sen. Marco Rubio in a 2016 Republican debate was a spotlight of his marketing campaign, has pressured the necessity for Trump’s present challengers to forcefully confront him on the talk stage.

“You higher have anyone on that stage who will do to him what I did to Marco, as a result of that is the one factor that is going to defeat Donald Trump,” Christie mentioned in March.

“It is not going to finish properly it doesn’t matter what,” the previous governor mentioned of Trump. “His finish won’t be a relaxed and quiet conclusion.”

Christie has instructed in latest months that he would not run except he sees a possible path to victory. To many political watchers, that path stays unclear.

Polls of the potential major race present Christie garnering little assist from Republican voters. A latest Monmouth College survey discovered Christie was the one declared or potential GOP candidate to obtain a web destructive favorability score, 21% to 47%, from Republican voters.

Christie’s announcement comes lower than two weeks after DeSantis formally joined the Republican major race, turning into the highest non-Trump contender. South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott entered the first that very same week. Former Vice President Mike Pence joined the fray on Wednesday.

Allies of the previous New Jersey governor not too long ago launched an excellent PAC, Inform It Like It Is, to assist his run for president.

Christie was elected governor of the traditionally blue state in 2009 and served for 2 phrases, the utmost allowed beneath time period restrict guidelines.

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He gained nationwide consideration in 2012 for his response to Superstorm Sandy, which battered his state and prompted billions of {dollars} in harm. Christie’s vocal reward for then-President Barack Obama’s assist amid the disaster angered a few of his fellow Republicans, however the governor’s polling numbers surged within the wake of the storm.

These excessive approval scores would crater by the tip of Christie’s second time period, which was marred by his connection to the 2013 “Bridgegate” scandal.

In September of that yr, commuter lanes have been shut down on the George Washington Bridge connecting New Jersey and New York for a number of days in retaliation in opposition to a mayor who refused to again Christie’s reelection bid. The lane closures prompted huge visitors jams.

The Supreme Courtroom in 2020 reversed fraud convictions in opposition to two of Christie’s aides who had performed key roles within the scandal.

Christie was succeeded by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, who received a second time period in 2021. Christie joined ABC Information in 2018 as a political contributor. In 2020, he was hospitalized with a extreme case of Covid-19 that he mentioned put him in an ICU for every week.

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