Republican presidential hopeful Chris Christie on Wednesday officially dropped out of a race he was never in. The former New Jersey governor announced that he had suspended his presidential campaign during a live town hall event.
The setting was New Hampshire, and Christie already hinted before taking the stage that he had a “significant announcement” to make.
His doomed run was built on little more than a visceral hatred of former President Donald Trump. Christie attempted to frame himself as a viable alternative to the 45th president, but that never resonated with GOP voters.
Christie told the Windham audience, “It’s 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.”
While being swamped by Trump, Christie also severely lagged behind even the secondary Republican hopefuls. Recent poll numbers ahead of next week’s Iowa GOP caucus showed him with a paltry 3% of party support.
It marked his second failed run at the Oval Office.
🚨 BREAKING: Chris Christie officially drops out of the 2024 race
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) January 10, 2024
There are some in the Republican ranks who called for Christie to step aside for weeks. Not due to him being the longest of longshots, but for a belief that his exit from the race would assist former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley.
The few GOP members not in the Trump camp apparently see her as a viable option to the former president.
Haley, who also served as ambassador to the United Nations during Trump’s presidency, saw her stock rise in recent months. In many polls she surpassed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to solidify her second-place position.
As for Christie, he quickly retreated to his favorite sport of Trump bashing on Wednesday. First he acknowledged the disappointment of the gathering, calling the attendees “people who believe in our message and believe in what we’ve been doing.”
But then he digressed. “I am going to make sure that in no way do I enable Donald Trump to ever be President of the United States again. And that’s more important than my own personal ambitions.”
A pair of polls taken ahead of New Hampshire’s pending presidential primary were released Tuesday. They showed Christie with 12% support from GOP voters, trailing by vast margins both Trump and Haley.