It’s take two for Chris Christie as the former two-term New Jersey governor officially launches his second White House bid, joining a crowded field of presidential hopefuls vying for the 2024 Republican nomination.
Christie formally declared his candidacy Tuesday evening during a town hall event at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, New Hampshire, the state with the first presidential primary.
‘I can’t guarantee you success in what I’m about to do. But I guarantee you that at the end of it, you will have no doubt in your mind who I am and what I stand for and whether I deserve it,’ Christie told the crowd.
‘So, that’s why I came back to Saint Anselm’s, and that’s why I came back to Manchester, and that’s why I came back to New Hampshire, to tell all of you that I intend to seek the Republican nomination for president of the United States in 2024, and I want your support,’ he said.
In his speech, Christie railed against the division that he said has driven Americans into smaller groups, brought about by the likes of former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump. He also touted America’s role throughout its history in ‘fighting evil’ across the world.
He focused a portion of his speech on taking jabs at Trump, describing him as a ‘leader who won’t admit any of his shortcomings’ and referring to him as ‘Voldemort,’ the infamous villain in the ‘Harry Potter’ novels.
Christie, who held New Jersey’s highest office from 2010 to 2018 and was the deep-blue state’s last Republican governor, first ran for president in the 2016 cycle.
He placed all his chips in New Hampshire, but his campaign crashed and burned after a disappointing and distant sixth-place finish in New Hampshire, far behind Donald Trump, who crushed the competition in the primary en route to the nomination and eventually the White House.
Christie became the first among the other GOP 2016 contenders to endorse Trump, and for years he was a top outside adviser to the then-president and chaired Trump’s high-profile commission on opioids. However, the two had a falling out after Trump’s unsuccessful attempts to overturn his 2020 election loss to now-President Joe Biden. For the past two years, Christie has become one of the most vocal Trump critics in the GOP.
Christie has been publicly mulling a 2024 presidential run for more than a year, and he recently has repeatedly chimed in on his dissatisfaction with the state of the race. He’s expressed discontent with the Republican field, accusing candidates of not being willing to take on the front-runner directly.
Christie, who is considered one of the best communicators in the GOP and was known during his tenure for the kind of in-your-face politics that Trump has also mastered, has argued that he’s got the debate chops to potentially take down Trump should he face off with the former president.
Trump, who in November launched his third straight White House run, remains the overwhelming front-runner in the early GOP presidential nomination polls.
‘I know what I’m good at. I know how to articulate an argument. I know how to make it. I know how to land it. And I feel like I have the ideas that people are genuinely attracted to. So, if you have those things, you have a good chance to be able to do it. No guarantees, but a good chance,’ Christie told Fox News Digital during an April stop in New Hampshire.
Pointing to his potential rivals, Christie said, ‘[A]s to the others, you guys will have to judge the others. I just know who I am, and I think you all know who I am and what I’ve been able to do before under the brightest of lights … lots of people can do things when the lights aren’t the brightest. But when those lights get really bright and everybody’s watching, can you perform or can’t you? And that’s a lot about what these races have to do with.’
Christie also recently lashed out at Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who recently announced his own White House bid, over his attacks on Disney and it’s ‘woke’ antics.
Since leaving office, Christie has worked for ABC News as a contributor and as a lobbyist.
It’s likely that going forward Christie will once again spend much of his time campaigning in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary and second overall contest in the GOP nominating calendar.
When asked in April if he would concentrate a 2024 campaign in New Hampshire at the expense of the other early voting states of Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada, Christie told Fox News, ‘I don’t know. I haven’t thought that all the way through yet. But I like New Hampshire.’
Christie joins a field that also includes former U.N. ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, DeSantis, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, former two-term Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, multimillionaire entrepreneur and conservative commentator Vivek Ramaswamy, and Michigan businessman Perry Johnson. Former Vice President Mike Pence and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum are expected to enter the race this week.