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Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie revealed he will not be deferring to former President Donald Trump in his consideration of whether to run for president in 2024 — saying doing so is “a real sign of both weakness and indecision.”
Christie, who ran unsuccessfully in the 2016 GOP primary before endorsing then-candidate Trump, made the comments during an interview with the “Ruthless” podcast released Tuesday.
“After 2022 is over, we’ll make a decision about whether we’re going to run or not, but I certainly won’t preclude it,” the former New Jersey governor began, likely referring to his wife, Mary Pat Christie.
He then took a swipe at potential rivals, saying, “I’m also not going to be one of these people who’s gonna say, ‘Well, I’ll wait to see what President Trump is gonna do.’ I’m not going to defer to anyone.”
In mid-April, while speaking to reporters in South Carolina, Nikki Haley said that she would not launch a White House bid if Trump chose to run.
“Yes,” she said when asked pointedly if she would support the former president if he ran in 2024.
Asked how that would impact her own presidential ambitions, Haley admitted that the former president would impact her decision to run.
“I would not run if President Trump ran, and I would talk to him about it. That’s something that we’ll have a conversation about, at some point, if that decision is something that has to be made,” she remarked.
She then explained that she had a “great working relationship” with the president during her time at the UN.
“I appreciated the way he let me do my job. I thought we did some fantastically great foreign policy things together, and look, I just want to keep building on what we accomplished and not watch it get torn down.”
That response was not an acceptable one to the fellow ex-GOP governor, who said Tuesday, “If I decide that it’s what I want to do and I think I’m the best option for the Republican Party and for the country.”
“If you’re saying you’re deferring to someone, that’s a real sign of both weakness and indecision and we’ve already got that in the White House,” he continued, taking a jab at President Biden.
As for how he’d like to see the GOP evolve, Christie said that he would hope to lead the party in a “productive and smart way.”
“What I want to do is to try to lead the party in a productive and smart way for us to continue to argue for populist-type policies, but not to be reckless, not to be reckless with our policies, not to be reckless with our language, to be smart about it.”
Whether Republicans will latch on to Christie in a 2024 primary remains to be seen, though he received negative feedback on a possible presidential run in a new poll.
A Monmouth University poll, released Tuesday, said that only 10 percent of New Jersey residents responded that they would like to see the former governor run, while 60 percent said they would not.
The poll also found that 70 percent of state residents believe he would not make a good commander-in-chief.
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