Chris Christie launched his bid for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday during a town hall in New Hampshire.
“All throughout our history there have been moments when we’ve had to choose between big and small, and I would tell you the reason I’m here tonight is because this is one of those moments, and you see it everywhere,” Christie said.
“We have candidates for president who say we shouldn’t care about what’s happening in Ukraine. We shouldn’t care that Russia wants to take a free and freedom-loving country and put it back under its thumb, that that’s not America’s concern,” Christie said.
Christie, a Republican, served as the governor of New Jersey from 2010 to 2018. He also served as U.S. attorney for New Jersey for seven years, a post to which he was appointed by former President George W. Bush.
“We have candidates for president who are talking about issues that are so small, that sometimes it’s hard to even understand them. But let me tell you why they’re talking about those small issues, for the very same reason that leaders who are pretenders have always talked about small issues, to divide you further and to make it easier for them to rule over you,” Christie also said. “The more divided we are, the more likely we are to be dominated by a single leader.”
Christie filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday ahead of his announcement.
“l read a great quote from a letter that John Adams wrote to Abigail Adams during the beginning of the Revolutionary War. She asked him in a letter to him what did he think was going to happen? Were we going to win?” Christie said. “And his response to her was: ‘I can’t guarantee success in this war, but I can guarantee something better, that we deserve it.’”
“So, I’ll say to you tonight that I can’t guarantee you success in what I’m about to do, but I guarantee you that at the end of it, you will have no doubt in your mind who I am and what I stand for and whether I deserve it,” Christie said. “So, that’s why I came back to Saint Anselm’s, and that’s why I came back to Manchester, and that’s why I came back to 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.”
Allies of Christie launched a super PAC last week in support of the former governor called Tell It Like It Is, The New York Times reported. Brian Jones, who advised both former Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, during their presidential bids in 2008 and 2012, respectively, will be leading the effort, The New York Times also reported.
“Governor Christie has proven he’s unafraid to tell it like it is and is willing to confront the hard truths that currently threaten the future of the Republican Party,” Jones said in a statement. “Now more than ever we need leaders that have the courage to say not what we want to hear, but what we need to hear.”
Mike Pence, who served as the vice president of the United States in former President Donald Trump’s administration, filed paperwork on Monday to run for president.
Pence and Christie enter an already crowded field of GOP candidates: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Trump have all announced their presidential campaigns.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is expected to announce his candidacy for the Republican nomination on Wednesday.
Trump currently heads the field, while DeSantis consistently polls in second place. According to a late May Quinnipiac University poll, Trump had 56%, DeSantis had 25%, Pence polls about the same (2%) as Scott and Christie, and Haley received 3% support.
So far, just two Democrats have announced they will compete for their party’s nomination against President Joe Biden in 2024: author and social justice activist Marianne Williamson and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the nephew of President John F. Kennedy.
Cornel West announced on Monday that he is running for president for the People’s Party.
The Daily Signal’s Mary Margaret Olohan, Virginia Allen, and Ken McIntyre contributed to this report.
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