Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has dropped out of the running for the 2024 presidential election. Christie was an avid critic of Donald Trump but faced challenges in gaining widespread support.
During a town hall event where he announced the suspension of his bid, Christie emphasized his commitment to honesty, stating, “I would rather lose by telling the truth than lie in order to win.”
He described the decision to end his campaign as “the right thing for me to do” and expressed his dedication to preventing Trump’s return to the White House, 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.”
Christie then underscored the importance of this commitment, prioritizing it over his personal ambition to become president and urging the nation to consider its future in the upcoming months.
Before his official announcement, Christie was inadvertently caught on a microphone expressing his opinion on his rivals. He remarked that Nikki Haley was “gonna get smoked” and wasn’t “up to this.” He also suggested that Ron DeSantis was “petrified” after a call with him, offering a glimpse into backstage dynamics.
Supporter to critic
This marked the end of Christie’s second presidential campaign, having run in 2016 before suspending his bid and subsequently endorsing Trump. Despite initially supporting the controversial former president, Christie has become one of his most vocal critics within the GOP, defining his 2024 campaign around renouncing the former president.
Christie’s strategy revolved around challenging Trump’s dominance, emphasizing Trump’s legal issues and election denialism as disqualifying factors. He recently said that Trump “wants to be a dictator” and that the former president doesn’t care about the Constitution or democracy.
Odd one out
As a candidate, Christie stood out among his primary opponents—a Republican candidate so outspoken about Trump and other social issues. He was one of the only Republican candidates who visited Ukraine in support of the country amidst the Russian invasion.
He also criticized bills restricting gender-affirming care and hormone therapy for transgender children and (eventually) promised not to sign a national abortion ban if ever asked to in the White House.
Christie has repeatedly told Republican voters that both the U.S. and the GOP need to move on from Trump, frequently citing the former president’s legal challenges and election denialism. Trump had dismissed Christie as a candidate altogether.
He has now succumbed to the mounting pressure to step aside just days before the Iowa caucuses, in which Republican voters will decide on their chosen candidate for president. Christie did not endorse another candidate as he stepped down.
End of the journey
The withdrawal of Christie from the 2024 presidential race introduces a notable shift in the dynamics of the Republican primary, leaving space for other candidates to vie for prominence. The coming weeks will reveal how his departure reshapes the unfolding narrative leading to election day.