Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses a crowd in a town hall-style meeting at New England College on Thursday, April 20.
Former New Jersey Governor. Chris Christie He filed to run for president on Tuesday before announcing his second bid for the White House and setting off another showdown. Former President Donald TrumpGOP frontrunner and former Christie ally.
His Tuesday evening announcement comes a day after fellow GOP moderate Chris Sununu, the governor of New Hampshire. Opted against running and less than 24 hours Former Vice President Mike Pence Officially entering the race. As in 2016, Christie will seek to appeal to more traditionally conservative, establishment-friendly Republicans — and hopefully he can emerge as a foil to Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the fast-growing field.
Apart from those two, there are others who have already announced bids Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott. Pence, who has filed papers to run, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum are expected to join Wednesday’s rally.
As CNN previously reported, Christie believes he is best positioned to take on Trump in the primary while appealing to independents in a potential general election showdown with President Joe Biden. He’s kicking off his campaign with the backing of a new super PAC called “Tell It Like It Is” created by allies in anticipation of his campaign.
Christie’s flirtation with presidential politics began in 2011, when he considered running in a primary to face then-President Barack Obama a year later. Ahead of 2016, he found himself aligned with Republicans. In a debate in February, Florida Sen. His 2016 campaign was short-lived and memorable for Christie’s mocking of Marco Rubio.
Both would eventually drop out — after Christie finished sixth in the New Hampshire primary — and endorsed Trump.
But Christie went one step further.
He headed Trump’s transition team — though his work was ultimately trashed and Christie himself sidelined after the election — and later became a close adviser to the former president. He was floated as a potential nominee for several executive positions, though none materialized. He even participated in mock debates with Trump in 2020. (Christie said he believed he contracted Covid-19 from Trump, who did not release a positive test result during one of those sessions.)
Following Trump’s defeat and attempt to overturn the 2020 election, Christie turned on him and tried to position himself as one of Trump’s chief Republican critics.
“We keep losing and losing and losing,” Christie told the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership conference late last year. “The reason we’re losing is because Donald Trump put himself before everybody else.”
He said that Trump “instigated” the riot at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, and “intimidated Mike Pence and Congress into doing what he said in his own words last week: trying to overturn the election.”
In an interview Axios This year, he vowed never to support Trump again.
“I can’t help him,” Christie said. “No way.”
Christie was first elected governor of New Jersey in 2009, unseating Democratic incumbent John Corzine. He easily won re-election in a blue state in 2013. He served as New Jersey’s U.S. attorney from 2002 to 2008, during which time he prosecuted the father of Trump’s son-in-law and former aide, Jared Kushner, on charges of criminal tax evasion and witness tampering.
Christie himself was mired in the “Bridgegate” scandal during his second term as governor. Emails and texts from top aides show the closure of George Washington Bridge Lane in September 2013 caused major traffic jams, stemming from political revenge after the city’s Democratic mayor refused Christie’s gubernatorial re-election bid.
A federal investigation determined that Christie had no knowledge of the decision to close the lanes, but the scandal followed the former governor.
This story has been updated by Christie’s FEC filing.