Chris Christie, the former Republican governor of New Jersey, is firm that he is “not going to defer to anyone” and says he is not going to wait and see if former President Donald Trump will run for office before making plans of his own for the 2024 general election.
“And I’m also not going to be one of these people who’s going to say, ‘Well, I’ll wait to see what President Trump’s going to do.’ You know, I’m not going to defer to anyone if I decide that it’s what I want to do and that I think I’m the best option for the party and for the country,” Christie said during an appearance on the “Ruthless” podcast, adding that those who defer are showing “weakness and indecision.”
Christie, once a prominent Trump ally, says he wants to lead the Republican Party in a “productive and smart” direction.
“What I want to do is to try to lead the party in a productive and smart way for us to continue to argue for populist-type policies, but not to be reckless, not to be reckless with our policies, not to be reckless with our language, to be smart about it,” he said.
Christie’s relationship with Trump has been rocky: He was dropped from Trump’s transition team after becoming further embroiled in the “Bridgegate” scandal. In 2020, he helped Trump prepare for presidential debates but soon after contracted Covid-19, which landed him in the hospital for some time. He hs been critical of the former president ever since and has denounced his actions on January 6, the day a group of Trump’s supporters stormed the United States Capitol in a bid to overturn the results of the 2020 general election. He has said Trump’s offenses were “impeachable.”
“If I think it’s an impeachable offense that’s exactly what I would do,” Christie told ABC in January. “But I’m not in there. If you want my opinion, that’s my opinion. I don’t know—I think if inciting insurrection isn’t [impeachable], then I don’t really know what is.”