Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has announced his intention to directly challenge former President Donald Trump as he seeks to gain ground in the competitive field of Republican contenders for the 2024 presidential nomination. This development was reported by Fox News on October 19, 2023.
Christie, once an ally and adviser to Trump during the 2016 campaign, has transformed into one of his most outspoken critics. He has accused Trump of dishonesty, cowardice, and jeopardizing national security.
On Wednesday, Christie took steps to place his name on the New Hampshire primary ballot, a critical early test for presidential hopefuls. During this process, he didn’t shy away from targeting both Trump and another rival, Vivek Ramaswamy, a biotech entrepreneur and author who has been gaining support among conservatives.
In a press statement outside the State House in Concord, Christie asserted, “Donald Trump is a liar and a coward. He’s facing indictment due to his outrageous behavior. He’s afraid to face serious contenders on the stage.”
Christie continued, “He claims he’s facing these indictments for the sake of the people, but he’s not. He’s facing them for his own sake. He should resolve these legal matters before people cast their votes so we know exactly who we’re voting for.” Christie was referring to Trump’s ongoing legal issues in New York, Washington, and Atlanta, which include charges related to the alleged retention of national defense information after leaving office, business irregularities, and efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and incite the January 6 Capitol attack.
Christie also criticized Ramaswamy, who portrays himself as an outsider and reformer, calling him a “phony” and a “fraud.” Christie remarked, “He has never participated in a Republican primary, never held public office, and has made no contributions to the Republican Party. He’s attempting to buy his way into this race with his wealth.”
“He’s a charlatan who authored an unread book and is trying to deceive the people of New Hampshire and America,” Christie added.
Christie expressed confidence that he could win voters over with his track record of leadership, experience, and honesty, emphasizing, “I won’t tell you what you want to hear. I’ll tell you what you need to hear, and I’ll speak the truth, whether it’s palatable or not.”
He declared, “I’m not afraid of Donald Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, or anyone else. I’m prepared to face them head-on, anytime, anywhere.”
Christie has met the donor threshold set by the Republican National Committee to qualify for the first presidential primary debate scheduled for next month in Milwaukee. He expressed his readiness to confront Trump on the debate stage if the former president chooses to participate.
Trump skipped the first Republican debate last month, citing concerns about potential defamation. His attendance at the second debate, scheduled at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in Simi Valley, California later this month, remains unconfirmed.
Christie tweeted, “Don’t worry, Donald Trump. Whether on the debate stage or exiting a building, you’ll have to face me one way or another.”
Despite trailing far behind Trump in national and New Hampshire polls, Christie remains undaunted by the numbers, believing that his message and vision can win over voters. He stated, “I’ve been an underdog before. I know how to fight, and I know how to win.”