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11 Jan, 2024 02:24

Trump critic ends US presidential campaign

Chris Christie’s exit came amid lagging poll numbers in early battleground states
Trump critic ends US presidential campaign

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has announced his departure from the 2024 presidential race, acknowledging he lacks a path to victory. The candidate is among several Republicans vocally critical of former President Donald Trump.

Speaking to supporters in New Hampshire on Wednesday, less than two weeks before the state’s Republican primary kicks off, Christie said dropping out was “the right thing for me to do,” but vowed to never “enable Donald Trump... to ever be president of the United States again.”

“It is clear to me tonight that there isn’t a path for me to win the nomination, which is why I’m suspending my campaign tonight for president of the United States,” the former governor added.

The decision follows underwhelming poll numbers for the Republican hopeful as voters prepare for the first round of the 2024 contest. A new CNN survey conducted alongside the University of New Hampshire showed that Christie was trailing far behind in the swing state, earning just 12% of the vote. GOP frontrunner Trump, meanwhile, continues to lead the pack with 39%, with former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley taking 32% in the poll.

Before announcing he would step out of the race at the event in New Hampshire, Christie was heard slamming his Republican rivals on a hot microphone, saying that Haley would “get smoked” in the race and was “not up to this.” He also named Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who he said had called him “petrified,” though the audio was cut before he could finish. The Christie campaign has declined to comment on the incident.

Christie’s White House bid was largely centered around criticism of Trump, who Christie had previously supported during the 2016 election cycle. In an attack ad released last week, the former governor acknowledged that was a “mistake,” arguing he only endorsed Trump “because I thought I could make him a better candidate and a better president.”

In his remarks on Wednesday, the outgoing candidate took a parting shot at Trump, saying he was an “angry” person and would “[put] himself before the people of this country.” Christie added that he had no plans to endorse any other Republican running.