Former Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, has initiated his campaign for the 2024 United States Presidential election, starting with a sharp attack on former President Donald Trump and blaming other competitors for avoiding a direct confrontation with him.
At 60 years old, Christie was an advisor for Trump’s 2016 election campaign, which led to his presidential victory. However, since then, he has become one of the most outspoken critics of the former president due to his unfounded allegations of fraud in the 2020 presidential election results.
Christie, a former federal prosecutor, has positioned himself as the sole Republican contender prepared to confront Trump. He said, “A leader preoccupied with himself and serving his own interests is not fit for command.”
Christie also satirically imitated Trump’s claim of building a border wall at the country’s southern end, for which Mexico would bear the cost. He stated that Trump “bears more responsibility than President Joe Biden for the failure of the state’s immigration policy.”
In a post on Trump’s social media site, the former President referred to Christie’s weight and described him as a “failed governor.”
So far, Christie has not garnered much favor in opinion polls, only securing 1% support from potential voters in the Republican primary election, according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll conducted last May. This pales in comparison to Trump’s 49% endorsement and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s 19% support.
Other Republicans vying for the party’s nomination to run against Biden include former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Senator Tim Scott. Trump’s former vice president, Mike Pence, is also set to announce his candidacy today, Wednesday.
Christie ran in the 2016 elections, but he ended his campaign after a disappointing result in the New Hampshire primary, becoming the first high-profile party figure to support Trump. However, he later distanced himself from Trump, a move that could attract Republicans wishing to move past Trump. It remains uncertain whether any Republican contender can dominate the crowded field without the support from the base that still pledges loyalty to Trump.