Chris Christie drops bid for 2024 presidential race

Chris Christie drops bid for 2024 presidential race

Chris Christie, the Former New Jersey Governor has dropped out of the presidential race with a parting shot at frontrunner Donald Trump.

“I am going to make sure that in no way do I enable Donald Trump to ever be president of the United States again,” Christie said.

The Republican had faced pressure to step aside and allow the party to unify around a viable challenger to Mr. Trump.

During a hot mic moment before he announced he was ending his bid, Mr Christie predicted that Nikki Haley, who has been gaining on Mr Trump in some polls, was going to get smoked,

“She’s not up to this,” he added. He also said another rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, was “petrified”.

Chris Christie, 61, said he was suspending his campaign at a town hall event in the US state of New Hampshire on Wednesday afternoon.

He devoted much of his remarks to a plea to Republican voters to reject the former president, who he accused of “putting himself before the people of this country”.

“Donald Trump wants you to be angry every day because he is angry,” he added.

His departure comes five days before the Iowa caucuses, the first of the state-by-state contests in which Republican voters will pick their preferred candidate for president.

The eventual winner will be appointed the Republican nominee in July, before going on to challenge the Democratic nominee – likely Joe Biden – in the November general election.

Chris Christie had been urged to drop out ahead of the second contest this month in New Hampshire, where some surveys indicate Ms Haley could be catching up with Mr Trump.

The north-eastern state has a large faction of unaffiliated voters and has been known to deliver unpredictable results.

In a statement, Ms. Haley called Mr. Christie “a friend for many years” and commended him “on a hard-fought campaign”.

But her opponents were quick to chime in on social media.

Mr. DeSantis said he agreed Ms. Haley is “going to get smoked”.

Mr. Trump said he “might even get to like [Mr Christie] again” following his “very truthful statement” about Ms Haley.

The former president’s political action committee said in a statement that he had “already vanquished eight challengers before a single vote has been cast because Republican voters want a strong leader who will reboot our economy, secure our border, make America energy independent again, and keep our families safe”.

This was Mr. Christie’s second unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination – he lost to Trump in 2016.

Mr Christie had hoped to act as an attack dog for a field of Trump rivals who dared not cross the Republican base, which remains deeply loyal to the former president.

The strategy resulted in some zingers during the primary debates, but without Trump on stage, Mr. Christie failed to land any direct blows.

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