Chris Christie says he’s the Republican who can take out Trump: ‘It’s the way to win’

Election 2024 Christie
Republican Presidential candidate former, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie smiles during a gathering, Tuesday, June 6, 2023, in Manchester, N.H. Christie filed paperwork Tuesday formally launching his bid for the Republican nomination for president after casting himself as the only candidate willing to directly take on former President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa/AP

Chris Christie says he’s the Republican who can take out Trump: ‘It’s the way to win’

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Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie defended his mission to undermine former President Donald Trump as he embarks on his campaign for the 2024 nomination.

“The reason I am going after Trump is twofold: one, he deserves it, and two, it’s the way to win,” Christie said Tuesday during his New Hampshire announcement town hall. “It’s not entertaining anymore. It is the last throes of a bitter, angry man who wants power back. Not for you.”

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But Christie, who previously ran for president in 2016, underscored he does not have a strategy to court the front-runner’s supporters other than he is “going to be myself.”

“There is no such thing as Trump voters,” he said. “They’re not one of his failed casinos in New Jersey. … He doesn’t own them.”

Christie described his decision to mount a presidential bid as not being “a layup” but instead based on his belief that the country, for the first time in its history, is becoming “smaller” and that character is no longer “destiny.”

“Donald Trump made us smaller by dividing us even further and pitting one group against another different group,” he said. “Joe Biden is doing the very same thing.”

Christie acknowledged he is not a perfect person, nor will he be the perfect candidate, conceding to have made mistakes and judgments “at times that were wrong.”

“Beware of the leader who won’t admit any of those shortcomings,” he said. “The person I’m talking about, who is obsessed with a mirror, who never admits a mistake, who never admits a fault and will always find someone else and something else to blame for whatever goes wrong but find every reason to take credit for anything … it’s Donald Trump.”

Aside from contending President Joe Biden is “not what he used to be” and “Father Time always wins,” Christie also criticized his 2024 Republican rivals for not addressing Trump directly, dismissing him as “a lonely, self-consumed, self-serving mirror hog.” He particularly scrutinized Trump’s foreign and immigration policies, in addition to his family.

“The grift from this family is breathtaking,” he said. “Jared Kushner and Ivanka Kushner walk out of the White House and months later get $2 billion from the Saudis.”

Christie, a former U.S. attorney, has a reputation for being assertive, even aggressive, with critics, a skill he used during the 2016 Republican primary debates against opponents, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), before dropping out after the New Hampshire contest. But the onetime Trump friend, campaign adviser, and transition chairman-turned-ABC political commentator and lobbyist may have credibility problems with GOP voters this cycle as he repeatedly underscores Trump’s record and electoral weaknesses.

“It’s time for him to stand in the center of this room and answer questions,” he said. “It’s time for him not to look at somebody and, when he doesn’t like the question, just call them a mean person.”

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Trump’s camp was quick to criticize Christie and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), perceived to be Trump’s chief competitor, amid Christie’s announcement, releasing a statement that indirectly referenced Christie’s weight.

“Ron DeSantis’ campaign is spiraling, and President Trump’s dominance over the Republican primary field has opened a mad rush to seize the mantle for runner-up,” Karoline Leavitt, spokeswoman for Trump PAC Make America Great Again Inc., said. “Ron DeSantis is not ready for this moment, and Chris Christie will waste no time eating DeSantis’ lunch.”

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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