Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie enters US Presidential race

Republican Chris Christie is positioning himself as the sole challenger to Donald Trump

Web Desk
US Republican Chris Christie speaks during the Heritage Action for America presidential candidate forum in Greenville, South Carolina on September 18, 2015.—Reuters
US Republican Chris Christie speaks during the Heritage Action for America presidential candidate forum in Greenville, South Carolina on September 18, 2015.—Reuters 

Chris Christie, the Republican former governor of New Jersey, made a bold entrance into the 2024 race for the White House on Tuesday. Filing his paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, Christie positioned himself as a skilled political fighter and the only candidate brave enough to confront the frontrunner, Donald Trump.

The 60-year-old Newark native, who placed sixth in the New Hampshire primary seven years ago and eventually endorsed Trump, has now taken on the task of delivering serious blows to the former president. Their relationship soured when Trump refused to accept his defeat in the 2020 election, leading Christie to sever ties.

Christie has wasted no time in jabbing at his former friend. Last month, he accused Trump of being "afraid" to debate formidable opponents, suggesting that if Trump genuinely cared about the country, he should face his challengers on stage. Trump has hinted that he may skip some of the early Republican primary debates to avoid sharing the spotlight with lower-polling rivals.

The former New Jersey governor has criticised Trump on various fronts, highlighting the ongoing criminal investigations surrounding the billionaire and denouncing his baseless claims of election fraud. Christie even labelled Trump "Putin's puppet" for his isolationist stance on Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

John Ellis, a former head of the Fox News Election Night Decision Desk, believes that Christie's relentless attacks on Trump could put the leading candidate on the defensive. Ellis suggests that Christie's campaign will garner significant media coverage, particularly in the mainstream press, which could help him perform well in New Hampshire.

Interestingly, Christie's announcement comes just a day after former vice president Mike Pence also filed paperwork for his own White House bid, setting the stage for a unique scenario where two former running mates become rivals. Pence plans to launch his campaign in the early-voting state of Iowa, joining a crowded field that includes Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is considered Trump's closest competition. Other candidates in the race include former governors Nikki Haley and Asa Hutchinson, with North Dakota's governor Doug Burgum expected to announce his candidacy soon.

Although polls consistently show Trump as the overwhelming frontrunner, often leading DeSantis by more than 30 points, the former president faces numerous criminal investigations into his personal and professional conduct. Legal experts anticipate further indictments against Trump in the near future, stemming from the mishandling of government documents taken without permission from the White House and improperly stored at his residence in Florida.