Former Trump adviser Chris Christie launches 2024 Republican US presidential bid

One-time governer was close on-and-off adviser before breaking with former president over refusal to accept results of 2020 election

Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie has filed paperwork formally launching his bid for the Republican nomination for US president ahead of a town hall event in New Hampshire.

Mr Christie has cast himself as the only candidate in the field willing to directly take on former president Donald Trump.

The campaign will be the second for the former governor and federal prosecutor, who lost to Mr Trump in 2016 and went on to become a close on-and-off adviser before breaking with the former president over his refusal to accept the results of the 2020 election.

Mr Christie enters a growing primary field that already includes Mr Trump, Florida governor Ron DeSantis, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley and US senator Tim Scott of South Carolina. Former vice-president Mike Pence will be formally launching his own campaign in Iowa on Wednesday.


Mr Christie, who during his time as New Jersey’s governor established a reputation as a fighter with a knack for creating viral moments of confrontation, faces an uphill battle to the nomination in a party that remains closely aligned with the former president, despite Mr Trump’s re-election loss in 2020 and the Republicans’ poorer-than-expected showing in the 2022 midterm elections.

Mr Christie has cast himself as the only person with the guts to take on Mr Trump directly and has warned of a repeat of 2016 if candidates fail to confront him.

“I’m not dumb. The way to win is to beat the guy who’s ahead. And so what would a campaign look like? A campaign would look like a direct frontal challenge to Donald Trump trying to return to the presidency,” Mr Christie recently said in a podcast interview.

Anti-Trump Republicans are particularly eager to see Mr Christie spar with Mr Trump on a debate stage – if, of course, Mr Trump agrees to participate in primary debates and Mr Christie meets the stringent fundraising criteria set by the Republican National Committee for participation.

But Mr Christie has also said he would not run as a kamikaze candidate to take down Mr Trump if he did not believe there was a viable path to his own victory.

“I’m not a paid assassin,” he recently told Politico.

His campaign will test the appetite among Republican voters for someone who has expressed support for many of Mr Trump’s policies but has criticised the former president’s conduct.

Mr Christie has rejected Mr Trump’s lies that the 2020 election was stolen and has urged the party to move on or risk future losses.

Other Republicans with similar views, including former Maryland governor Larry Hogan and New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu, have opted against their own campaigns, expressing concerns that having more candidates in the race will only benefit Mr Trump. – AP