Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey, declared on Wednesday during a town hall meeting in Windham, New Hampshire, that his presidential campaign will be suspended. Christie, who was making his second run for the presidency, gave in and said, “It’s obvious to me now that I won’t be able to secure the nomination. This is the reason I’m calling off my presidential candidacy tonight.”
Christie’s withdrawal comes at a time when former President Donald Trump is mainly leading the presidential race. Growing calls in recent weeks have come from both inside the Republican Party and from some voters for Christie to resign in order to support Nikki Haley, the UN ambassador and former governor of South Carolina, who has emerged as one of Trump’s main competitors.
Christie acknowledged the disappointment that his decision to withdraw from the campaign may have caused his supporters. Declaring, “I am going to make sure that in no way do I enable Donald Trump to ever be President of the United States again,” he further indicated that keeping Trump out of office was his top goal. That’s also more significant than my own goals.”
Before making his statement, Christie was heard saying that Haley would be “smoked” by Trump during a heated mic moment. In addition, Christie alluded to the Civil War and the controversy surrounding Haley’s earlier remarks regarding its causes during his speech, subtly criticizing Haley.
Christie’s deliberate delay in not endorsing a contender right away in the 2024 contest is evident in the possibility that he will hold off on doing so until after the Iowa caucuses.
Once a staunch ally of Trump, Christie is well-known for his ability to communicate. However, among the GOP, he has emerged as one of Trump’s most outspoken detractors. In his political career, he was elected governor twice, in 2009 and 2013, and then he ran an unsuccessful presidential candidacy in 2016. After a dismal campaign in New Hampshire in 2016, he endorsed Trump early on. But after the 2020 election, things went south between them.
Christie’s resignation from the race is the most recent in a string of them, which further reduces the number of GOP presidential candidates. This includes recent dropouts like Senator Tim Scott, former Vice President Mike Pence, and Governor Doug Burgum of North Dakota.
Christie ally and Trump detractor Chris Sununu, the governor of New Hampshire, supported Haley and underlined the necessity of a united field to beat Trump. In response to Christie’s withdrawal, the Democratic National Committee also made a statement. DNC national press secretary Sarafina Chitika said that Christie’s choice demonstrated a wider understanding of his lack of chance of winning the presidency.