GOVESTOWN, NH — Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie predicts that in a 2024 Republican presidential nomination race that is shaping up to be combustible, “it won’t end well” for Former President Donald Trump.
And Christie, a former two-term Republican governor And the 2016 presidential candidate, who is seriously considering another White House election, argued he had a cut-off in the debate to bring down Trump should he face off with the former president, who remains the frontrunner four months after his third run for the White House. Early national polls for the Republican nomination.
Christie made his comments while presiding over a town hall that lasted nearly two hours Monday night in New Hampshire, the state holding the first primary and second overall contests in the Republican nomination calendar.
“You’d better have someone at that point who can do to him what I did to Marco,” Christie said during a town hall meeting at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College. The candidates are from both parties.
Christie was referring to his heated exchange with Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida in a nationally televised debate in New Hampshire Days before the 2016 Republican presidential primary — a showdown that pundits awarded as a knockout blow for Christie.
“Because that’s the only thing that’s going to defeat Donald Trump. And that means you have to have the skill to do it and that means you have to be brave, because it’s going straight back to you,” Christie stressed afterwards. “So you have to think about who has the skill to do it and who has the guts to do it. Because it’s not going to end well, no matter what. It’s not going to be a quiet finale.”
Christie, who is considered one of the best communicators in the GOP and was known during his tenure for the kind of straightforward politics Trump has also perfected, was asked by Fox News after the town hall if he thought any of the other contenders, actual or potential, in the nascent Republican presidential field had skills. debate to effectively counter Trump.
“I don’t know the answer to that question, but what I will say is that no one has to wonder if I’m doing this,” the former governor asserted.
Christie put all his chips into campaigning for the presidency seven years ago New Hampshire. However, his campaign crashed and burned after a disappointing sixth-place finish in New Hampshire, behind Trump, who crushed the contest in the primaries, propelling him toward the nomination and eventually the White House.
Christie became the first of the other 2016 GOP contenders to endorse Trump, and for years she was a senior foreign adviser to the then president and chaired Trump’s high-profile panel on opioids. However, the two fell out after Trump’s failed attempts to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Biden. Over the past two years, Christie has become one of the most vocal critics of Trump in the Republican Party.
“I don’t want to hear anyone in this room say ‘Uh, you know you say that because you’re never Trump,'” Christie told the audience. “I was first on the bus and worked all the way up to election night 2020 for him.”
But Christie added to the applause, “I got off the train when he stood in the West Wing of the White House behind the president’s seal and told us the election was stolen when he didn’t have a single fact to back it up. I’m sorry. That’s when I get off. Because the truth matters.”
Trump stressed, in a speech to his supporters earlier this month at the Conservative Political Action Conference, that “I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed: I am your punishment.” He repeated the line Saturday night in Waco, Texas, where the former president held his first campaign rally of the year.
“Guess what, everyone. No thanks,” Christie said to applause from the crowd. “The only person he cares about is him. And if we don’t learn that from Election Day 2020 until today, we don’t pay attention to him.”
Christie repeated, “We’re my party now. It’s about him and nothing else. You can’t win as a party of me… You have to win as a party of us.”
And, in one jab at some of the other actual or potential candidates in the field for the 2024 Republican nomination, Christie took aim at what he called the “Trump Lite” candidates. He said, “This will certainly be lost as it was lost in ’20, when we lost the House of Representatives in ’18, and we also lost the Senate in ’21, as we performed poorly in ’22.”
Christie also jumped into the growing debate in the GOP about The war in Ukraine. While many in the traditionally hawkish wing of the Republican Party strongly support Ukraine and criticize President Biden’s administration for not doing enough to help Kiev, they face a more vocal wing of anti-war voices than the MAGA wing of the party.
Kristi highlighted a recent comment by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis that Russia’s war against Ukraine was a “territorial conflict”. The comment generated a storm of shock from many in the GOP in recent weeks, though DeSantis later asserted that Russian leader Vladimir Putin was a “war criminal.”
“A week or two ago I heard Governor DeSantis describe what’s happening with Ukraine in Russia as a territorial dispute,” Christie said. “When tanks and artillery roll into a free country trying to take their land and their lives by force, this is tyrannical aggression. This is not a territorial dispute.”
DeSantis, who is still on the sidelines for 2024 so far but is widely expected to enter the race and is seen as Trump’s biggest challenger. In an interview last week on Fox Nation, the conservative governor who has seen his popularity soar among Republicans across the country over the past three years said, “Stay tuned” when asked about a possible presidential run.
Christie also focused on DeSantis’ comment from a “Fox and Friends interview in February. Critical of the Biden administration’s Ukraine policy,” the Florida governor said, “They have an empty vetting policy with no clear strategic objective and these things can escalate.” And I don’t think it’s in our interest to get into a proxy war with China, to get involved in things like the borderlands or Crimea.”
“Someone please put a wake-up call to Tallahassee. Hasn’t he seen what’s going on. Fentanyl comes across our southern border from China and kills 100,000 Americans a year. I call that a proxy war. They’re re-flying the intelligence-gathering balloon over our country in flagrant disregard for our country,” the ex-governor of New Jersey urged. . I call that a proxy war.”
Christie argued that “it is naïve to say that we want to avoid a proxy war with China. We are in one.”
Fox News reached out to DeSantis’ political team for a response, but did not yet receive comment at the time the story was published.
In an interview with Fox News Digital before his trip to New Hampshire, Christie reiterated that he will make his decision for 2024 within the next 45 to 60 days. He explained that the three factors that would go into his decision would be “seeing a path to victory… believing you had something at that moment to offer the country that needed to be heard”, and whether he would have the support of his family.
He said, “If you answer yes to all three of these questions, I will run. If you answer no to one of them, I won’t.”
And on Monday, he told the town hall audience that when it comes to a schedule, “I think June is probably the last date you can get. Because the first debate is in August and if you want to be a serious candidate in this race, you have to be on that.” The stage is in August and you start making your case.”