Anti-Trump Republican Chris Christie drops out presidential race

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has withdrawn from the competition, culminating a campaign predominantly focused on critiquing front-runner Donald Trump.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has officially withdrawn from the 2024 Republican presidential race, marking the conclusion of a campaign primarily centered on criticizing the policies and character of frontrunner Donald Trump.

The decision comes just days before the inaugural Republican nominating contest in Iowa, with Christie securing a mere 2% support in a recent nationwide Reuters/Ipsos poll—equivalent to former Representative Liz Cheney, who never formally declared her candidacy.

According to the same poll, Trump maintains a substantial lead in the race for the party’s nomination against President Joe Biden in November’s election, securing 49% support. This places him ahead of former UN ambassador Nikki Haley at 12% and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at 11%.

Christie announced the suspension of his campaign during a town hall event in New Hampshire, citing a lack of a viable path forward. He reiterated concerns about the potential consequences of a Trump presidency, emphasizing that preventing Trump’s return to the presidency is more crucial than his personal ambition.

Republican strategist John Feehery speculated that Christie’s withdrawal might benefit Haley in New Hampshire, where the second nominating contest is set to take place later this month, as many of Christie’s supporters could potentially shift their allegiance to her. However, Feehery expressed skepticism about the impact of this shift in other nominating states.

In a seemingly unguarded moment before his official announcement, Christie appeared to cast doubt on Haley’s chances, stating, “She’s going to get smoked. You and I both know this. She’s not up to this.” He also referenced a call from DeSantis, who Christie claimed was “petrified” about a situation that was cut off before further details could be heard.

Notably, Christie did not discuss his decision with Haley before the official announcement, according to a source briefed on Christie’s plans.

Once a Trump ally turned vocal critic, Christie positioned himself as the sole Republican contender willing to confront the former president head-on. However, his campaign struggled to gain traction, and despite consistent appearances on cable news shows offering scathing critiques of Trump, Christie never rose above low single digits in national polls.

With Christie’s exit, the race loses its most prominent Trump antagonist. While Haley, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has also become increasingly critical of Trump, the landscape is reshaped as contenders navigate Trump’s enduring influence within the Republican Party.

Christie, 61, had previously predicted Trump’s likely defeat in the general election, citing four criminal cases hanging over the former president’s candidacy. Having run for president in 2016 and initially supporting Trump, Christie distanced himself after the 2020 election, disavowing the former president due to his claims about winning the election.

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