Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has said he will opt to take a different tact to some of the Republicans mulling presidential bids in 2024.
During a “Ruthless” podcast interview out early Tuesday, he said that he won’t wait for former President Donald Trump’s decision to seek the GOP nomination to preclude him from throwing his own hat in the ring for president at the end of next year.
“After 2022 is over, we’ll make a decision about whether we’re going to run or not,” Christie said on the podcast. “But I certainly won’t preclude it. 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,” he added.
Christie’s stipulation that his terms for weighing a presidential bid had little to do with whether or not Trump is running, are a sharp turn from some of the other potential candidates who have signaled in recent months that they would likely back down from starting their own races if Trump announced plans to run.
Among them, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, who told reporters at a news conference in South Carolina last month that she “would not run” if Trump does.
“I would not run if President Trump ran, and I would talk to him about it,” she said in April. Adding: “That’s something that we will have a conversation about, at some point.”
That about-face came after Haley said in the weeks after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack that she didn’t seen Trump in the 2024 picture.
“He’s not going to run for federal office again,” she said during a Politico interview at the time. “I don’t think he can. He’s fallen so far,” she added.
The former President has previously, privately floated the possibility of a 2024 presidential run, which Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) freshly ousted as House GOP conference chair has opposed. Ascending to quite a different podium in resistance to Trump’s Big Lie, she said she is prepared to fight.
“He must not ever again be anywhere close to the Oval Office,” she said during a TODAY interview last week, adding: “I’m going to do everything that I can.”