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This Is Why Chris Christie Is ‘Running for President’

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Remember when former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced his intention to run for president in 2024? The declaration raised a few eyebrows, more out of confusion rather than excitement. As the GOP field becomes even bigger as primary seasons starts to ramp up, many questioned why Christie would throw his hat in the ring when it is clear he has no chance of winning.

The polls show that very few in the Republican camp would be willing to support him for the nomination. Nevertheless, I think I may have figured out Christie’s motivation, dear reader.

Let’s look at the first thing Christie did when he introduced his campaign. When he made his announcement on June 6 in New Hampshire, he went full Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS):

Mr. Christie, who declared his run on Tuesday evening at a town-hall-style event in New Hampshire, set himself apart from all other Republicans running by going directly after Mr. Trump. He called him “a bitter, angry man,” said his record in office was a failure and, in an unusually personal attack, accused Mr. Trump and family members of profiting off the presidency, referring to an investment from the Saudi crown prince.

“The grift from this family is breathtaking,” Mr. Christie said. “It’s breathtaking. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Kushner walk out of the White House and months later get $2 billion from the Saudis?”

“That’s your money he stole,” he continued, adding, “That makes us a banana republic.”

During the event, Christie also slammed other Republicans for not criticizing the former president enough.

But even before he threw his hat in the ring Christie couldn’t stop yammering on about the Orange Man What Is Bad™. In an April interview with The Daily Beast, Christie attacked Trump again, arguing that the GOP would lose in 2024 if Trump became the standard bearer once again.

“I think we’ll lose if Trump’s a nominee,” he said. “That’s why I intend to be the nominee.”

The former governor added: “I am the viable Trump alternative.”

In May, Christie slammed Trump again for intimating that he would not participate in the GOP debates. In a post on Truth Social, Trump complained about the RNC not getting his approval for the dates and times of the debates, and insinuated that the moderators might be biased against him. Christie suggested that Trump would not skip the debates because of his ego.

“His ego will not permit him not to be on that stage. … I can tell you this from being the guy who prepped him for debates in ‘16 and in ‘20, he believes he will win every debate he’s in and that [the] ego part of him will prevent him from skipping,” Christie said while speaking on an ABC panel.

Last, but certainly not least, we have Christie’s recent comments excoriating Trump in response to a story about the former president allegedly taking donations from his 2024 campaign and putting them into a political action committee that he has used to pay legal fees:

Trump is “the cheapest S.O.B. I’ve ever met in my life,” Christie told POLITICO on Tuesday evening. “What Donald Trump is good at is spending other people’s money.”

The former president began diverting a larger share of his political donations to his Save America PAC in February or March, The New York Times reported on Sunday, and may have already redirected at least $1.5 million.

“This is a billionaire who refused to pay his lawyers with his own personal money, and instead, men and women out there who believe in him and wanted [him] to be elected president are donating money to try to forward his candidacy … and he’s diverting that money to pay his own legal fees,” Christie said.

“He should take a pledge today to instruct his campaign to no longer spend any public money on his legal fees,” Christie added. “He is the richest candidate in this race, yet he is using public money to pay his legal fees. He should be ashamed of himself.”

These are but a few examples of how Christie has based his entire platform on attacking Trump. It begs the question: Is Christie running merely to act as a foil to Trump, hoping to prevent the former president from winning the nomination rather than harboring genuine aspirations for the presidency?

Chris Christie faces an uphill battle in his quest for relevance within the Republican Party. Despite his prior political experience and tenure as New Jersey’s governor, Christie has struggled to gain substantial traction as a presidential candidate.

In the 2016 primaries, he was overshadowed by the ascendancy of Donald Trump, eventually dropping out and endorsing Trump’s candidacy. Since then, his influence and popularity have waned significantly, leaving him with much to overcome in his bid for the 2024 nomination.

Indeed, an NBC News poll showed that only 15 percent of Republican voters have a favorable view of Christie, while 42 percent have a negative view of him. Ouch.

While Christie’s Trump obsession may appeal to some Republican voters disillusioned with the former president, it begs the question of whether Christie’s primary campaign revolves solely around being an anti-Trump figure. Rarely does he criticize other GOP candidates vying for the nomination, suggesting that his campaign lacks a comprehensive policy agenda or a distinctive platform beyond his opposition to Trump.

Given Christie’s limited chances of securing the nomination, it is plausible to question his motivations for running. Christie may understand that his own chances of success are slim, but by actively challenging Trump’s credibility and highlighting his perceived shortcomings, he potentially seeks to influence the outcome of the primary race. It appears that Christie’s candidacy revolves around shaping the party’s direction and ensuring Trump’s defeat rather than harboring genuine hopes of securing the nomination himself. The question is: Will it work?

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