Christie says he won’t ‘rule out’ running for president in 2024 even if he has to challenge Trump

Posted Dec 22, 2020

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie isn’t saying no to a rematch against President Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

Christie — who lost the party’s 2016 nod to Trump, a longtime friend — made the comments during an interview Monday with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.

“If President Trump decides to run in 2024, are you ruling out running against him?” Hewitt asked.

“I would not, no,” Christie said. “I would not rule it out, Hugh.”

It’ll be a few years before the final field shakes out. But this is the second time Christie has mused in recent months about a possibly launching a second campaign for the presidency in 2024. And multiple reports say Trump is also thinking of another shot at the Oval Office after losing re-election last month to Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

Christie, long one of Trump’s most public advisers, has notably broken with the president in recent months.

After spending a week in intensive care at Morristown Medical Center with the coronavirus, Christie said he was “wrong” to not wear a mask during White House events in the days leading up to his hospital stay. And last week, Christie released a national TV calling on all Americans to wear masks to fight COVID-19 — a message Trump has not given himself.

Plus, Christie has publicly chastised Trump for refusing to accept his loss to Biden and challenge the election results in court.

Hewitt asked Christie if he’s still talking with Trump much.

“I’m trying to,” Christie said. “You know, it’s, the president is very, very focused now just on his continued concerns about how the election went. Those are things that he and I do not agree on. And so I try not to agitate him too much.”

“But listen, I’ve been his friend for 20 years,” the ex-governor added. “I’ll continue to be his friend. But on this one, we have a fundamental disagreement.”

Trump took some of the attention away from Christie, another brash-talking northeastern, in the 2016 presidential race. And Christie bowed out of the race after a disappointing finish in the New Hampshire Republican primary.

He then left the governor’s office in January 2018 with record-low approval ratings in the teens after two terms, the most he could serve consecutively under the state constitution.

But speculation about Christie’s future has continued the last two years. The 58-year-old Mendham resident has kept a high profile a contributor to ABC News.

And Christie suggested in an interview with The Hill in July that his chances at the presidency after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out convictions against two former allies in the Bridgegate lane-closing case.

“The media and others convicted people before they even had a trial, and it materially affected my ability to run for president,” Christie said at the time. “Now that we’ve had that cleared away and it’s no longer a controversy, you know, from my perspective, maybe 2024 is time to try to go after that job again. I think I have a lot to contribute, and I think everybody sees that.”

In 2014, long before the case went to court, Christie fired or cut ties with those aides and apologized to New Jerseyans for the matter. The Supreme Court simply threw out the criminal convictions.

Christie himself was never charged in the case and repeatedly denied knowing in advance about the lane closings.

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published this page in News and Politics 2020-12-23 03:32:12 -0800