Ex-New Jersey Governor Chris Christie thinks there is a place for him on the presidential ballot in 2024.
Christie ran against Trump during the pair’s White House quest in 2016. The Garden State governor then dropped out, endorsed Trump, and helped him prep for debates in both of Trump’s election bids.
Now Christie said he should have attacked the former president during his campaign and that the failure to do so was a “strategic error.”
Chris Christie wants to correct that mistake, and he could enter the anti-Trump lane in the Republican primary for president this election cycle.
Christie turned against Trump when the former president belly-ached that the election was stolen from him in 2020. Christie thought Trump’s claims were damaging to democracy and led to the shocking events of January 6.
Go on the Attack Against Trump
Now Chris Christie believes the best way to give Trump a lesson about lawful governance is to run against him. He may make a decision in the next two months. Christie was in New Hampshire March 27 and stated that someone with “guts” needs to take on Trump.
His Words Against Rivals Can Change a Race
Christie is quick-witted and can deliver a knockout punch on stage. He pointed out during a presidential debate in 2016 that Florida Senator Marco Rubio was depending exclusively on talking points without authenticity and the attack hurt Rubio. The Floridian never recovered.
The governor said at the New Hampshire Institute for Politics town hall that “You have to be fearless because he [Trump] will come right back at you,” Christie said. “So, you need to think about who’s got the skill to do that and who’s got the guts to do that because it’s not going to end nicely. No matter what, his end will not be calm and quiet.”
Chris Christie Has a Thick Skin
Christie is definitely bombastic enough to take on Trump.
He is a tough customer from the east coast near New York where politics is a winner-take-all game that rewards solid words and deeds.
If anyone can challenge Trump it is Chris Christie, who, after the debate prep sessions, knows Trump’s strengths and weaknesses.
But a presidential campaign is more than debates. The first question for Christie would be fund-raising. His lists of donors are old and date back to 2016. The anti-Trump high-dollar givers have latched on to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis or Nikki Haley. These politicians are more up-to-date when it comes to shaking the money tree.
Can He Build a Campaign Team?
Christie must also spark up his ground game in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. This means hiring staff and recruiting endorsements in these early states. Potential surrogates may not believe that Christie has a chance to win.
Also, Christie hasn’t done much politically since he served as New Jersey Governor. He released a book that bombed. He didn’t speak at the last CPAC, and he has mostly been out of the news since 2016. It will be difficult for him to connect to anti-Trump voters without making noise and landing blows against Trump, who has become known as “Teflon Don.”
One way Chris Christie is carving out a path for himself is to denigrate the foreign policy positions of DeSantis who has said the war in Ukraine is not a vital national interest for the United States and that the conflict is only a territorial dispute. Christie disagrees with this assessment and believes a struggle against the “authoritarian aggression” of Vladimir Putin necessitates a rightful U.S. response. Christie also took on potential candidate Mike Pence too, asking “Who needs?” the former vice president.
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Chris Christie has always been quotable if not lovable. Unlike Nikki Haley, he is not shy when it comes to going after Trump. He also has the prior experience of running for president and being in the spotlight of high-pressure debate stages. The question is for Christie is how he can raise enough money and create an adequate campaign apparatus to challenge Trump effectively. Until then, Christie will have to depend on media coverage that displays his sharp tongue and his large appetite for negative campaigning.
Author Expertise and Experience:
Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.