Chris Christie drops out of US presidential race

World Thursday 11/January/2024 13:58 PM
By: DW
Chris Christie drops out of US presidential race

New Hampshire: Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced Wednesday that he was suspending his presidential campaign.

Christie has faced intense pressure to drop out of the Republican presidential primary race as critics of former President Donald Trump work to unite behind an alternative candidate.

"My goal has never been to be just a voice against the hate and division and the selfishness of what our party has become under  Donald Trump," Christie said at a town hall in New Hampshire.

"I've always said that if there came a point in time in this race where I couldn't see a path to accomplishing that goal, that I would get out," he said. "And it's clear to me tonight that there isn't a path for me to win the nomination, which is why I'm suspending my campaign tonight for president of the United States."

Christie, who was the most outspoken anti-Trump candidate, had the support of just 2% of Republicans in a nationwide Reuters/Ipsos poll completed on Tuesday.

Christie's withdrawal comes barely days ahead of the first Republican nominating contest in Iowa.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley are the top contenders still standing in the race to challenge Trump for the Republican nomination.

John Feehery, a Republican strategist, suggested that Nikki Haley would benefit from Christie dropping out. Many Christie voters will likely switch to the former UN ambassador, Feehery speculated.

However, the strategist doubted the move would help Haley significantly in other nominating states.

Ahead of his town hall announcement, Christie was heard over the mic addressing Haley's chances.

"She's going to get smoked. You and I both know this. She's not up to this," he said.

Haley responded in a statement calling Christie "a friend for many years," and commending him "on a hard-fought campaign."

Trump and DeSantis both seized on Christie's comments. Trump said he had made a "very truthful statement" about Haley while DeSantis posted on X, formerly Twitter, that he agreed with Christie that Haley would "get smoked."

The 61 year-old politician has repeatedly cautioned the Republicans against rallying behind Trump. He predicts the former president would likely lose against Democratic President Joe Biden.

Christie has particularly highlighted the four criminal cases hanging over Trump, warning that he could be convicted if elected in November.

In the 2016 race, Christie also ran for president, before ending his bid after a disappointing finish in the New Hampshire primary. He switched to Trump's support afterward, then in 2020 he helped run his debate preparations.

Christie ended his association with Trump after he refused to accept the election results.