Christie Makes Decision on Third-Party Bid

Former GOP presidential candidate's thumb's down may leave No Labels in a pinch
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2024 4:02 PM CST
Updated Mar 28, 2024 9:05 AM CDT
Christie Is a Maybe on Third-Party Bid
Chris Christie speaks at a campaign event in Rochester, New Hampshire, last month.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
UPDATE Mar 28, 2024 9:05 AM CDT

Despite "encouragement" to run for president as a third-party candidate, Chris Christie says no go. The former New Jersey governor said Wednesday he will not run on No Labels' proposed ticket amid obstacles including "significant ballot access and litigation expenses ... and the risk of drawing votes away from [President] Biden," per the Washington Post. "If there is not a pathway to win and if my candidacy in any way, shape, or form would help Donald Trump become president again, then it is not the way forward," Christie said. Politico reports Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, and Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan have also opted out. This leaves No Labels "with few remaining high-profile options for candidates," per the Post.

Feb 7, 2024 4:02 PM CST

Asked Tuesday if he'd consider running for president without the Republican nomination, Chris Christie—who ended his run in January—didn't say no. "I'd have to see a path for anybody, not just me, but I think anybody who would accept that would need to see a path to 270 electoral votes," the former New Jersey governor said on ABC's Good Morning America. Christie has been critical of the No Labels group, the Hill reports, and he didn't commit to being interested in running on that ticket—should there be one—either. One of its leaders has said Christie would make a strong candidate, though he has been critical of the effort, calling it a "fool's errand" last summer.

On the other hand, he said Tuesday: "If there was ever a time in our lifetime when a third-party candidate could make a difference. I think it's now. The question, though, is, what kind of difference." Christie went hard against Donald Trump while he was in the GOP race, but that doesn't mean he'll endorse Nikki Haley, the former president's remaining rival for the nomination. The Republican said he's learned from the "biggest mistake" of his political career—endorsing Trump in 2016. "Look, imagine the position I'd be in if I endorsed someone who then turned around and endorsed Donald Trump," he said, per the Hill. "I'm not gonna be put in that spot again." (More Chris Christie stories.)

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