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

U.S. Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey governor Chris Christie speaks through 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 main area that has largely been reluctant to cross its main candidate.

Talking and not using a script at a city corridor occasion in Manchester, New Hampshire, Christie known as out the previous president by identify as he spoke at size about what he noticed as a disaster of management at a vital second in American historical past.

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

“The individual 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-about an extended shot within the Republican main, the place Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are the clear front-runners.

“I will 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 top of it you may 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 would like 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 main 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 towards 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 believe he is a coward and I believe he is a puppet of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” Christie mentioned final month in response to Trump’s feedback concerning the Ukraine struggle 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 confused the necessity for Trump’s present challengers to forcefully confront him on the talk stage.

“You higher have any individual 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 isn’t going to finish properly it doesn’t matter what,” the previous governor mentioned of Trump. “His finish is not going to be a peaceful and quiet conclusion.”

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

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

Christie’s announcement comes lower than two weeks after DeSantis formally joined the Republican main 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 lately 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 below 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 brought about billions of {dollars} in injury. 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 top 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 towards a mayor who refused to again Christie’s reelection bid. The lane closures brought about huge visitors jams.

The Supreme Court docket in 2020 reversed fraud convictions towards 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 per week.

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