Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is set to announce his 2024 presidential campaign Tuesday at a town hall in Manchester, New Hampshire, two sources confirmed to NBC News.
This is the second shot at the Republican presidential nomination for Christie, who stumbled to a sixth-place finish in the 2016 New Hampshire primary.
Axios was the first to report the timing of Christie’s 2024 campaign announcement.
After dropping out of the race eight years ago, Christie, in a then-stunning move, endorsed Donald Trump just days before Super Tuesday, lending a credible name to Trump’s momentum at the time.
Christie and Trump became allies, with the former New Jersey governor heading up Trump’s presidential transition team and later preparing him for debates against Joe Biden in 2020.
But Christie has emerged as a vocal critic of Trump, who remains the Republican front-runner in the polls, after the then-president refused to concede his loss to Biden in 2020 and pushed baseless claims of widespread election fraud.
Christie has continued criticizing Trump, especially in his role as a political contributor on ABC News. During a segment on “This Week” earlier this month, Christie argued GOP candidates can’t beat Trump by “cozying up to him.”
Christie’s decision to announce his presidential bid in New Hampshire comes after he has held several town hall meetings in the swing state in the past few months.
During a town hall in Manchester in March, Christie took a voter’s question about why he failed to take on Trump in 2016. In response, Christie noted that he and the rest of the field made a “strategic error” in underestimating Trump, whose lack of policy knowledge was apparent, and believed each of them had a chance to winnow the field into a potential one-on-one match up with him, but “none of us ever got there.”
Christie also defended his endorsement of Trump in 2016 after he dropped out of the race, saying he made the calculation at the time that Trump would be better than then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (then-Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida were still in the GOP presidential primary when Christie announced his endorsement of Trump). Christie said he believed that he’d be able to effectively shape Trump as a better candidate and president, but was proved wrong in his hopes.
In another town hall meeting in New Hampshire in April, Christie devoted his entire opening remarks to slamming Trump.
“Tonight is the beginning of the case against Donald Trump,” Christie said. “You’re not going to beat someone by closing your eyes, clicking your heels together three times and saying, ‘There’s no place like home.’ That’s not going to work.”
“Donald Trump is a TV star, nothing more, nothing less,” he added. “Let me suggest to you that in putting him back in the White House, the reruns will be worse than the original show.”
Christie served two terms as New Jersey governor from 2010 to 2018. His tenure came under scrutiny during the so-called Bridgegate case, a political scandal in 2013 involving lane closures at the George Washington Bridge as alleged retaliation against a Democratic mayor who refused to endorse Christie’s re-election.
Prior to being elected governor, Christie served as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey from 2002 to 2008 under President George W. Bush.
Peter Alexander contributed.