Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has announced his second presidential campaign, positioning himself as the primary opponent of former President Donald Trump. Christie criticized Trump, describing him as a bitter and power-hungry individual.
In his speech, Christie emphasized the need for the country to choose between “big and small.” He argued that recent leaders have made the nation smaller by their actions, conduct, and the issues they prioritize. According to Christie, the country has been divided into smaller groups, weakening its unity.
While other Republican candidates have avoided directly criticizing Trump, Christie openly named him and highlighted his flaws.
“Let me be clear, in case I have not been already,” Christie said after bashing Trump. “The person I am talking about — who is obsessed with the mirror, who never admits a mistake, who never admits a fault and who always finds someone else and something else to blame for whatever goes wrong, but finds every reason to take credit for anything that goes right — is Donald Trump.”
Christie stated that there is only one path to the Republican nomination, and that is to confront and defeat Trump. He also accused Trump of further dividing the country and blamed President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama for the same.
Christie acknowledged his own imperfections and emphasized that true leaders are not perfect either. He urged the audience to look beyond the idea of a flawless candidate and recognized the shared humanity of politicians and the public.
“If you are in search of the perfect candidate, it is time to leave. I am not it. Not only am I not the perfect candidate, I’m far from the perfect person,” he said. “What true leaders do is not try to pretend to you that we’re perfect, because we’re human just like you. Because in our country, in our democracy, we are no better and no worse than any of you. We are you.”
In response to Trump’s promises and unfulfilled commitments, Christie tweeted about the border wall, immigration, and Mexico’s payment. He criticized Trump, calling him a coward and a puppet of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Referring to his previous confrontation with Senator Marco Rubio during the 2016 presidential primary debates, Christie highlighted the importance of fearlessly challenging Trump. He warned that Trump would retaliate against anyone who stood in his way.
Christie enters a crowded Republican primary race as the ninth candidate. Former Vice President Mike Pence and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum have also announced their campaigns this week. The large number of candidates could lead to fragmented support, as seen in Trump’s 2016 victory. However, Christie dismissed concerns about this dynamic and emphasized the unpredictability of future elections.
Trump responded to Christie’s candidacy through his spokesperson, criticizing both Christie and Ron DeSantis, another candidate. The spokesperson claimed that DeSantis is unprepared for the current political landscape, suggesting that Christie would overshadow him.