chris christie

Former Gov. Chris Christie Announces His Candidacy for President

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie this evening announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States in 2024. Speaking at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, Christie took aim at the current political climate, saying that – going back to presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump and now President Joe Biden – the country has “gotten smaller in every way” regarding the issues Americans care about. 

He said this country would not be what it is today, if big decisions were never made, citing the courage of our founding fathers, Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, Woodrow Wilson during World War I, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt during World War II. Christie even cited the courage of President John F. Kennedy calling for the first man on the moon by the end of the 1960s and President Ronald Reagan’s stance against the former Soviet Union and his calling it an “evil empire.” 

“All throughout our history, there have been moments where we have had to choose between big and small,” Christie said.  “I will tell you that the reason I am here tonight is because this is one of those moments,” he told the audience. 

Alluding to former President Donald Trump, the current Republican front runner in the presidential race, Christie began talking about the value and importance of character. 

“There is a big argument in our country right now about whether character matters,” Christie said. “We have leaders who have shown us, over and over again, that not only are they devoid of character, but they don’t care. And they say that you shouldn’t care. 

“The [ancient] Greeks said character is destiny. … We can’t dismiss the question of character anymore. If we do, we get what we deserve. And we will have to own it,” Christie said. 

In a self-deprecating manner, Christie said, “If you are in search of the perfect candidate … I am not it. Not only am I not the perfect candidate, I am far from the perfect person.” 

He said that he has experienced enormous highs in his life, such as the gratitude of the New Jersey people he helped during the devastation of Superstorm Sandy. However, he talked about his low points as well, saying “I have made mistakes.” Alluding to the Bridgegate scandal, Christie said, “My judgement at times was wrong and I trusted people I should not have trusted. And it resulted in me being … publicly embarrassed and humiliated by things that happened on my watch.” 

He said true leaders do not pretend they are perfect.  Again, alluding to Trump, he said, “If our leaders are not willing to admit to you that they are fallible, that they make mistakes, then beware. Beware of the leader who – when something goes wrong – [says] it is someone else’s fault. 

“Beware of the leader who won’t admit any of [his] short comings. The problem with a leader like that is that he thinks America’s greatness resides in the mirror he is looking at. … A lonely self-consumed, self-serving mirror hog is not a leader,” Christie said. “I believe that America’s greatness resides out there among all of you.” 

Referring to a letter that Abigail Adams wrote to her husband John Adams during the Revolutionary War, which questioned the successful outcome of the fight for independence, Christie paraphrased John Adams’ response, turning it into his own by saying:  

“Tonight, I can’t guarantee you success in what I am about to do, but I can guarantee you that, at the end of it, you will have no doubt in your mind who I am, what I stand for and whether I deserve [the presidency]. That is why I came back to Manchester and New Hampshire, to tell all of you that I intend to seek the Republican nomination for president of the United States in 2024, and I want your support!” 

This is Christie’s second run for the presidency.  He sought the GOP nomination in 2016. He entered a crowded race with 14 Republican contenders. He dropped out of the race after finishing sixth out of the eight remaining Republican candidates in the New Hampshire primary. 

Over the past seven years, Christie has been a commentator for ABC News, and has been heading Christie 55 Solutions, a consulting firm helping clients with business strategies and with public policy and regulatory challenges. Earlier this year, his allies launched Tell it Like It Is PAC, to support his presidential campaign. 

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