Tough-talking New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is shelving a planned trip to South Carolina today and returning home to “take a deep breath” and re-evaluate his presidential campaign after his disappointing single-digit showing in the New Hampshire Republican primary.
“We are going to go home to New Jersey, and we are going to take a deep breath, see what the final results are … because that matters,” Christie said last night. “We will make our next step forward based on the complete results in New Hampshire.”
The New Jersey governor, who clearly was disappointed in the Granite State results, said that decision could come as soon as this afternoon.
Christie, who fended off questions yesterday about whether he would suspend his run for the White House if he fell short in New Hampshire, was slated to take part in a Presidential Town Hall Forum hosted by the Conservative Leadership Project in Charleston, S.C., this afternoon, according to his campaign schedule.
Then, tomorrow morning, Christie was set to visit Blackstone’s Cafe in Beaufort, S.C., before moving on to an appearance at Stack’s Pancake House in Hilton Head.
Those meet-and-greets were still on Christie’s campaign schedule last night, but they now appear to be on hold as he awaited the final count in New Hampshire.
“There’s no reason to go to South Carolina and sit in a hotel room and do that,” Christie said.
He failed to crack 10 percent — a dismal showing for a candidate who had pinned his hopes on a strong finish in the first-in-the-nation primary.
Christie had spent much of the past week drumming up his highly publicized takedown of Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio during last Saturday’s ABC News GOP showdown in Manchester, N.H. He had hoped to ride that momentum, pointing to the debate where he pounced on Rubio’s scripted talking points as evidence that he has what it takes to challenge Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in the general election.
But Christie didn’t appear to get any bounce from roughing up Rubio, and his message didn’t resonate here, even though he had spent considerable resources and time on his ground game, holding more than 70 town-hall events over the past few months.
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