Former Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., reportedly is eyeing a run for president in 2024.
Christie, who briefly was among the Republican primary candidates in 2016, has told friends his decision to run in 2024 would not be based on what former President Donald Trump decides to do, Axios reported Tuesday.
According to people close to Christie, the former governor believes having run a previous presidential campaign would make him stand out among the other people, such as Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., who has emerged as a possible contender due to his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump said he was "beyond seriously" considering another run for the office in an interview broadcast Monday.
In an interview last December, Christie was asked if Trump's presence in the 2024 primaries would preclude the former governor from entering the field.
"I would not rule it out," Christie told Townhall Review radio host Hugh Hewitt.
Like Trump, Christie has a reputation for being tough – he’s a former federal prosecutor. He also can be combative and does not come across as being as impetuous as the former president.
Christie could appeal to blue-collar workers and suburban moderate Republicans.
Currently an ABC contributor, Christie has attacked the Biden administration’s policies and recently accused President Joe Biden of being "a liar."
"The American people understand fairness. Right? That's it. They say, 'Oh, you're just being negative to the president.' No. No, I'm not being negative to President Biden,” Christie said at a Republican Study Committee luncheon. "I'm holding him to the same standard you all held President [Donald] Trump to, and if it was fair then, it is sure as heck fair now."
In 2016, Christie dropped out of the GOP presidential race after Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, pulled in front. He suspended his campaign in early February, and endorsed Trump about 2 weeks later.
A longtime friend of Trump, Christie disagreed with the former president on contesting the 2020 election results, and later, on the importance of wearing a mask to combat COVID-19.
Christie taped a PSA encouraging mask wearing after he had been infected with coronavirus in October. He spent 7 days in ICU.
"This message isn't for everyone; it's for all those people who refuse to wear a mask," Christie said in the commercial. "Lying in isolation in ICU for seven days, I thought about how wrong I was to remove my mask at the White House. Today, I think about how wrong it is to let mask-wearing divide us."
Christie was at the White House without a mask when the president nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The ex-governor later was maskless in close contact with the president during preparations for the first debate with Biden.
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