Chris Christie boasts that he’s the only Republican who can take down former President Donald Trump but insists he’s not interested in being just a political “paid assassin.”
As the former New Jersey governor considers a 2024 White House run, Christie claimed in a new interview that a fellow onetime GOP presidential candidate encouraged him to take on Trump head on.
“No one else has the balls to do it,” Christie told Politico, quoting the unnamed ex-candidate with approval.
Christie believes he has the brains, wit and gravitas to go toe-to-toe with Trump.
And unlike other 2024 contenders, he has no qualms about directly attacking the man who remains the most powerful and popular leader of the GOP.
But Christie insists he will only jump in the race if he has a realistic chance of winning the Republican nomination.
“I’m not a paid assassin,” Christie said. “If you don’t think you can win, it’s hard.”
Christie is scoring in the low single digits, if at all, in polls of Republican primary voters, trailing not only Trump but potential contender Ron DeSantis by a yawning margin.
But some analysts see an opening for his bare-knuckled political brand.
Unlike DeSantis and fellow so-far also-ran contenders Mike Pence and Nikki Haley, Christie has the confidence to take on Trump without fear of the ex-president’s potent counterpunch.
“[Trump] needs to be called out and it needs to be called out by somebody who knows him,” Christie said. “Nobody knows Donald Trump better than I do.”
Christie has won the grudging admiration of politicos across the ideological spectrum for his formidable campaigning and especially debate skills.
He is credited with singlehandedly taking out Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in a debate before the 2016 New Hampshire primary. That takedown ironically catapulted Trump to the top of the GOP field, and Christie’s own candidacy never really got going.
The 2024 race is different because Christie’s first mission would be to take down Trump, who commands a loyal army of supporters.
But Christie already appears to be looking beyond that goal to dinging DeSantis as well. He called out the Florida governor for betraying conservative pro-business principles in his squabble with Disney.
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