OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has become the latest Republican to jump into the 2024 primary race as the field continues to grow, though he is certain of what he’s up against.
In an interview with “Good Morning America” on ABC, Christie is well aware that the path to the nomination goes “right through” former President Donald Trump.
“There’s only one lane to the Republican nomination for president and Donald Trump is at the head of it and you have to go right through him and make the case against him. And that’s what I intend to do,” Christie said.
It is his second presidential campaign. For a time, Christie seems to rise atop the GOP field in 2016, only to be vanquished, along with the rest of the Republican field, by Trump who went on to defeat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
He launched his campaign on Tuesday, commencing with a town hall-style event held at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. During the event, he presented himself as a contrasting figure to Trump, appealing to voters with his distinct approach and policies.
He remained on message Wednesday, telling ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that Trump and his campaign team have “put themselves before the American people.”
“That’s exactly what he’s done each and every time when there’s been a key decision to make, and Joe Biden is showing he is simply not on for the job,” Christie noted. “I’ve been tested, tested over and over again in a blue state when I was governor, a very difficult place to govern. And I know how to bring solutions to our party and, most importantly, to our country.”
Christie also accused Trump of failing to deliver on big issues like health care, immigration, and other issues.
“Broken promises like that, George, aren’t acceptable anymore to the American people,” Christie said. “The stakes are too high. That’s the case you need to make and if you make it effectively, I think we will be the nominee.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence announced his 2024 run in a video released early Wednesday.
As for Christie, to say he has an uphill climb to the nomination is an understatement. According to polling service Morning Consult, Christie is currently at the bottom with barely 1 percent support, below even former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and vehement anti-Trump critic and former Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who is at 2 percent.
Trump currently leads in that poll with 56 percent of the vote compared to his next closest rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, with 22 percent.
Liz Cheney polling higher than Chris Christie for 2024 pic.twitter.com/arlxX0t05c
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) June 6, 2023
ABC News noted further:
Though Christie’s willingness to take on Trump directly sets him somewhat apart from the other candidates, who’ve so far been reluctant to openly criticize the former president and early front-runner. Christie took a jab at his opponents, likening their treatment of Trump to Voldemort, the Harry Potter villain.
But in order to appear on first debate stage in August, the Republican National Committee is requiring candidates to vow to support the eventual nominee as well as meeting certain polling and fundraising criteria.
Christie’s pledged never to support Trump again.
“So will you be on the debate stage? Can you support Donald Trump, if indeed he is the Republican nominee?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“I’ll be on the debate stage, and I will take the pledge that the RNC puts in front of me just as seriously as Donald Trump did eight years ago,” he responded. “When he signed the pledge … and then on the first debate stage, he didn’t raise his hand to say he would support the nominee.”