Is There Any Lane for Chris Christie?
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has thrown his hat into the 2024 Presidential ring, but is there really any lane for him in the race other than as a “Trump Destroyer?”
It is a question that even Christie seems to be asking himself, as he seems to see himself more as a person who can “stop Trump” for the GOP– his own stated goal – than as having any real shot at the Oval Office.
As he announced his candidacy, Christie challenged Republicans to find someone who could do to Trump “what I did to Marco” Rubio — a callback to his 2016 debate-stage evisceration of the Republican senator from Florida — “because that’s the only thing that’s going to defeat” Trump.
Christie apparently thinks he can wreck former President Donald Trump’s campaign as he did to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in the 2016 GOP primary. He’s already throwing other Republicans under the bus, including former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), suggesting they are too weak to take on Trump.
Christie overestimates both his appeal and his own “talent.” Times have changed since 2016, and Christie has gone from the once-popular governor who missed his moment to a glorified CNN pundit. Christie is less popular and less influential among Republicans than ever. His words carry little weight.
Once part of Trump’s inner circle, the ex-president has now labeled Christie a “RINO,” and many in the party agree –certainly, Trump’s supporters do. Moreover, Christie did not wreck Rubio’s campaign, as he claims. Rubio did that to himself, falling repeatedly into a rehearsed answer. Christie happened to be the one butting heads with Rubio when it happened, but Rubio simply short-circuited.
Speaking to Politico, Christie insisted he was not a “paid assassin” in it just knock off Trump, but is serious about winning the primary.
“I’m not a paid assassin,” he said. “When you’re waking up for your 45th morning at the Hilton Garden Inn in Manchester [New Hampshire], you better think you can win, because that walk from the bed to the shower, if you don’t think you can win, it’s hard.”
He also said Trump “needs to be called out and … needs to be called out by somebody who knows him. Nobody knows Donald Trump better than I do.”
As to what the former President thinks of Christie getting into the race, he told Fox News, “I hear Chris Christie’s coming in. He was at 6% in New Jersey … I love New Jersey, but he has a 6% approval rating in New Jersey. What’s the purpose? And he’s polling at zero.”
Most observers think Christie’s second presidential campaign will struggle to last even as long as his first.