Chris Christie, the previous governor of New Jersey who was eclipsed by Donald J. Trump within the 2016 presidential primaries, filed paperwork on Tuesday saying that he would search the 2024 Republican nomination, organising a rematch with the previous president and increasing the sector of G.O.P. candidates.
In making a second run for the presidency, Mr. Christie, 60, has positioned himself because the particular person most keen to assault each Mr. Trump, his former pal turned adversary, and Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who has been in second place in practically each public Republican main ballot for months. Mr. Christie’s presence within the race may very well be unwelcome for Mr. DeSantis, for whom each further candidate harms his skill to consolidate help.
Mr. Christie, who is ready to announce his run at a town-hall-style occasion in New Hampshire Tuesday night, has already begun laying out an aggressive case towards Mr. Trump based mostly on the previous president’s insurance policies — particularly, that he made quite a few guarantees that he by no means delivered. That case is one which different hopefuls have typically sidestepped, as a substitute largely avoiding saying Mr. Trump’s identify. In contrast, Mr. Christie has gone instantly at him.
He has mocked Mr. Trump’s dwindling crowd sizes, referred to as him a loser and stated that he crossed a line together with his actions that led a pro-Trump mob to assault the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
And he has described himself as capable of seize the nomination. “I’m the viable Trump various,” Mr. Christie just lately informed The Daily Beast.
Nonetheless, Mr. Christie’s path to profitable the nomination is difficult. He’s a northeastern Republican who has not been enmeshed within the tradition wars of the Trump period. His fundamental path would essentially be via New Hampshire, a state the place he waged a fierce marketing campaign in 2016 however in the end got here up brief. And to realize traction, he might want to depend on consideration from candidate debates.
His marketing campaign will rely closely on media protection and a nimbleness to journey to locations the place that’s likeliest. New Hampshire is the state the place he’ll start his marketing campaign, however not essentially the place he’ll hunker down.
He nonetheless wants to fulfill the standards set by the Republican Nationwide Committee to get on that debate stage, which incorporates 40,000 distinctive donors.
But if he makes it, as a onetime pal of Mr. Trump, he has a eager understanding of the previous president and how you can get below his pores and skin. Relying on how the race goes, Mr. Christie’s fundamental impression may very well be in badly damaging Mr. Trump, whom he has been attacking with gusto. However he has been inspired by quite a few Republican donors and senior officers in current weeks, notably as Mr. DeSantis stumbled earlier than even changing into a proper candidate.
Mr. Christie, a former federal prosecutor, will likely be in a novel place to assault Mr. Trump’s varied authorized travails, as he’s the primary former president to be indicted and is going through the potential for extra indictments in different circumstances.
Nonetheless, Mr. Christie will face questions on his conversion from Trump supporter to detractor. (Mr. Trump, after leaving workplace, referred to Mr. Christie as “an opportunist.”)
Mr. Christie was a favourite of some Republicans to run for the nomination within the 2012 marketing campaign, when he was one of many nation’s most well-known governors, identified for tangling with union leaders and promoting himself as figuring out how you can steadiness a funds. However as a substitute of working that 12 months, whereas his star was rising, he selected to concentrate on working for re-election, receiving nationwide consideration for his response throughout the devastating Hurricane Sandy — and criticism from some Republicans for showing with President Barack Obama in New Jersey days earlier than the election at an occasion associated to the storm’s aftermath.
The anger amongst Republicans presaged a political setting during which Republicans punished their elected officers for comity with Democrats.
By the point Mr. Christie introduced he was working for president in 2015, when there was now not a Democratic incumbent, his candidacy had been hobbled by the so-called Bridgegate political revenge scandal that swamped his administration two years earlier. Mr. Christie denied involvement within the alleged payback scheme involving closing lanes on the George Washington Bridge to get again at a political opponent of the governor, and convictions towards two defendants had been overturned in 2020 by the U.S. Supreme Courtroom. However by then, Mr. Christie’s political fortunes had been broken.
After dropping out of the 2016 race, Mr. Christie endorsed Mr. Trump that February, one of many first distinguished nationwide Republicans to take action. That endorsement was useful to Mr. Trump as he tried to attraction to Republicans who had been skeptical of him over his feedback calling for a ban on Muslims getting into the nation, or his misogynistic statements in regards to the Fox Information host Megyn Kelly.