Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie launched his 2024 presidential campaign in New Hampshire on Tuesday by telling voters to think big and denouncing former President Donald Trump as “a lonely, self-consumed, self-serving mirror hog.”
Christie made the announcement during a town hall event at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., warning voters to be wary of candidates that can’t admit their faults and arguing that President Biden and Trump have divided the country.
“Beware of the leader who won’t admit any of those shortcomings. Because you know what the problem is with a leader like that – a leader like that thinks America’s greatness resides in the mirror he’s looking at,” said Christie.
“Beware, because that leader not only will not serve you, they will not be able to find anybody who will serve them. And a lonely, self-consumed, self-serving mirror hog is not a leader.”
Christie then joked, “But I don’t want to say his name, because for these other pretenders he is – for those of you who read the Harry Potter books – like Voldemort, he is ‘he who shall not be named.’”
To erase any doubt that he was referencing the former president, Christie said, “Well, let me be clear, in case I have not been already, the person I am talking about who is obsessed with the mirror, who never admits a mistake, who never admits a fault and will always find someone else and something else to blame for whatever goes wrong, but finds every reason to take credit for anything that goes right is Donald Trump.”
“And if we don’t have that conversation with you, we don’t deserve to ask for your vote,” he added.
Christie, who is embarking on his second White House bid, endorsed Trump in 2016 after dropping out of the race after a sixth-place finish in the New Hampshire primary.
He then became an adviser to the former president ahead of the 2020 election before breaking with Trump over his stolen election claims
The 60-year-old former two-term governor has since become a vocal critic of the 76-year-old former commander-in-chief.
On Tuesday, Christie lambasted Trump over the divisiveness of his presidency.
“Donald Trump made us smaller by dividing us even further and pitting one group against another, different groups pitted against different groups every day,” said Christie.
Christie is currently polling at 1%, according to a RealClearPolitics average of polls, well behind Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
When asked by an audience member how he will attempt to appeal to Trump supporters, Christie responded, “I don’t have a specific strategy. I’m going to be myself.”
Christie also revealed that he regretted not confronting Trump about some of his campaign promises in 2016.
“It was a mistake in 2016 not to confront Donald Trump early. Because I knew that so much of what he said was complete baloney,” said Christie, citing Trump’s claim that he would build a wall along the US border with Mexico and make Mexico pay for it.
“And when you watch illegal immigration pouring over our southern border, don’t wonder whose fault it is. It’s his,” said Christie, referring to Trump.
“It’s his fault, because he never changed one immigration law. In the two years that he had Republicans control the Congress. Not one immigration law didn’t change. He didn’t build the wall like he told us to. And Mexico is laughing at us at the idea that they were going to pay for a wall on their border,” he added.
Christie is joining an increasingly crowded GOP primary field that includes Trump, DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and radio talk show host Larry Elder.
In a Truth Social post on Tuesday, Trump mocked Christie’s repeated references to the “choice between small and big” that voters face in 2024 and his characterization that Trump divided the country into “smaller” groups.
“How many times did Chris Christie use the word SMALL? Does he have a psychological problem with SIZE?” Trump wrote.
“Actually, his speech was SMALL, and not very good. It rambled all over the place, and nobody had a clue of what he was talking about. Hard to watch, boring, but that’s what you get from a failed Governor (New Jersey) who left office with a 7% approval rating and then got run out of New Hampshire. This time, it won’t be any different!”
The post Chris Christie launches 2024 presidential campaign, blasts Trump: ‘Self-serving mirror hog’ appeared first on New York Post.