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.
It 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 announcement.
After he dropped 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.
Christie and Trump became allies, with Christie 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 Trump refused to concede his loss to Biden in 2020 and pushed baseless claims of widespread election fraud.
Christie has continued to criticize Trump, especially in his role as a political contributor on ABC News. In a segment on “This Week” this month, Christie argued GOP candidates can’t beat Trump by “cozying up to him.”
Christie has held several town hall meetings in New Hampshire, a swing state, in the past few months.
In 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 said 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, saying he made the calculation at the time that Trump would be better than 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 endorsed Trump). Christie said he believed he’d be able to effectively shape Trump as a better candidate and president but was proved wrong.
“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, allegedly in retaliation against a Democratic mayor who refused to endorse his re-election.
Before he was elected governor, Christie was the U.S. attorney for New Jersey from 2002 to 2008 under President George W. Bush.
Christie is set to challenge Trump, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, conservative talk radio host Larry Elder and businessman Perry Johnson for the 2024 GOP nomination. Former Vice President Mike Pence is also expected to announce a potential bid in the coming weeks.
A poll by Monmouth University this week found that Christie’s favorability rating among Republicans is quite poor. Just 21% of registered voters who identify with or lean toward the GOP have a favorable view of him, while 47% view him unfavorably, 24% say they have no opinion of him, and 8% say they haven’t heard enough about him.
Christie’s results in the poll, the worst among the potential Republican presidential candidates tested, pale in comparison to the ratings of Trump and DeSantis, whose favorability numbers were both above 70%.
Summer Concepcion is a politics reporter for NBC News.