NEW YORK, (AP) — Chris Christie is all around.
At the Ronald Reagan Library in California, the former governor of New Jersey and one-time Republican presidential candidate decried “conspiracy theories” during a September appearance. He delivered a speech to Las Vegas’ influential Republicans this month, warning that only a party with a plan for tomorrow will succeed, and not a grievance over yesterday.
Between, everyone interviewed him, from Laura Ingraham of Fox News to David Axelrod (a former adviser to President Barack Obama) on CNN.
Christie’s public relations campaign seems to be in support of his book “Republican Rescue”, which offers a simple solution for his party. He recommends that they stop talking about 2020 and instead focus on the future. Or lose elections. Christie may be plotting a political comeback by rushing his appearances and making increasingly pointed jabs at Donald Trump.
Christie stated that he had not yet made a decision about his future political plans and would wait until after the next year’s elections. He was clear in his statement that he would be running if he believes he could win.
He said, “If there is a way to win, I will run.” “I feel that I have the skills, the talent, and the ability to make a positive difference in our party as well as in this country. At 59, I am not ready to retire. If I don’t see the path to victory, I won’t do it. That’s why I won’t make any decision right now.
The 2024 campaign will be dominated by the question of whether Trump will run again. Polls show that Trump would win easily if he did run again. Christie, however, is trying to test the openness of GOP voters until then. He largely supports Trump but rejects Trump’s claims that the last election was stolen.
This approach pits him against other Republicans, such as Rep. Liz Cheney from Wyoming and Maryland Governor. Larry Hogan and others have made high-profile statements against Trump.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Mike Pompeo (Trump’s former secretary-of-state), have portrayed themselves as staunch Trump supporters. Ex-Vice President Mike Pence tried to find a compromise, highlighting his work with Trump while noting that the two have different views on the circumstances surrounding Jan. 6’s insurrection at Capitol.
Long-time GOP pollster Adam Geller said that candidates tend to break into both pro- and anti Trump camps. “There is something to being in an unique lane which does in fact endorse some President Trump’s policy but at the same times doesn’t hesitate criticizing where Christie would disagree.” He was involved in Christie’s winning New Jersey gubernatorial elections, as well as Christie’s 2016 presidential bid.
Others disagree, arguing that Christie sided with Trump until it became politically inconvenient.
Tim Miller, an ex-spokesperson for the Republican National Committee who is a vocal Trump critic, said that it was “clearly disingenuous”. “Chris Christie helped Donald Trump more than any other person in the establishment and growth of the Republican Party. He wants the praise of saying something that is real, but with no reflection on what he did to get to us here.
Christie and Trump have had a difficult relationship over the almost 20 years they’ve been “friends.”
Christie, a U.S. Attorney, successfully prosecuted Jared Kushner, Trump’s father-in-law. Trump and Christie were fierce rivals for the GOP nomination 2016. Christie quit the race and he became the first major elected official in the country to endorse Trump. This gave legitimacy to Trump’s eventual presidency.
Christie told Ingraham recently that the line for supporting Donald Trump begins behind him.
Christie was a stand-in for Hillary Clinton in Trump’s 2016 debate preparations and was rewarded with the task of chairing Trump’s presidential transition. In retribution for Kushner’s trial, Christie was fired from his position after the election. Christie managed to re-enter Trump’s inner circle. He headed the commission on opioid misuse and served as an informal advisor.
Christie calls Trump’s response to the 2020 election win by Democrat Joe Biden a “breaking point.” Christie stated that he was “incredibly disappointed” and “disillusioned” by Trump’s refusal of to concede the election. This culminated in his followers storming the Capitol Jan. 6 to stop the certification of Biden’s win.
Christie now says that Trump’s lies must be discredited and the party must move beyond his grievances to achieve success. He argues that voters want sanity, and common sense.
“As Republicans we must get out of the rut of endless grievances. We must focus on the future, not the past. “We must face the facts of 2020 election and learn from them,” he wrote in the book. He urged the party to get rid of all conspiracies and to focus on offering voters a positive alternative to Democratic policies.
Trump is responding. The former president stated that Christie had been “absolutely massacred” by his statements and that Republicans must move on from the past.
Christie dismissed the criticism. “Anybody can speak what they like. These are my views. These are my opinions.” He says. He is already considering how 2024 might differ from 2016. His previous bid focused heavily on town hall-style events targeting voters in New Hampshire, the first state to host a presidential primary. There, Christie placed sixth.
He said that a second campaign would be different.
“You won’t see me just wandering up there.” He said that one of the lessons I learned when I ran my first race was that motion isn’t progress. “I will be careful about what I do in the lead up to a decision, and then if I do make a decision to run. I will also be deliberate about how I conduct a campaign. I want to make every moment I spend really count.
Christie seems to be enjoying the attention of being back in politics after a hiatus which included a bout against COVID-19, which sent him to the ICU. Christie is currently working on a second book about “bringing the nation together”, co-chairing a national Republican organization focused on redistricting strategy, and serving as a top fundraiser at the Republican Governors Association. This group, which he once headed, gave him access to some the most important donors.
Mike DuHaime, a GOP strategist and long-time adviser to Christie, stated that it was too early to talk about a race that is so distant.
He said, “You can only plan so much.” “And there are so much other factors beyond our control that it is hard to just say what you believe and do what you believe is right.”