Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie entered the 2024 presidential race by hammering Donald Trump, calling the former president and current Republican primary front-runner a “lonely, self-consumed, self-serving mirror hog” who has no moral compass and asserting that he alone can put a stop to him.
“A lonely, self-consumed, self-serving mirror hog is not a leader,” Christie told the audience at a town hall at Saint Anselm College. “The person I am talking about, who is obsessed with the mirror, who never admits a mistake, who never admits a fault, who always finds 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.”
Christie said that other prominent Republicans have been hesitant to challenge or even mention Trump’s name during their campaigns, but he made it clear that he had no such reservations.
Christie enters an expanding GOP primary field that already includes Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). Additionally, former Vice President Mike Pence is set to launch his own campaign in Iowa on Wednesday.
As governor, Christie gained a reputation as a tenacious fighter known for creating confrontational viral moments. However, he faces an uphill battle for the nomination in a party that remains closely aligned with the former president, despite Trump’s loss in the 2020 election and Republicans’ lackluster performance in the 2022 midterm elections.
Christie began criticizing Trump by name just minutes into his half-hour speech, saying the former president had “made us smaller by dividing us even further and pitting us one against the other.”
He also said President Joe Biden “is doing the same thing, just on the other side.” Christie noted that he’d known Biden for decades and that he was a nice guy, but said that the president is “out of his depth” because “he’s not the guy he used to be,” referencing the 80-year-old Biden’s advanced age.
However, Christie’s main target was Trump.
“There’s a big argument in our country right now about whether character matters, and we have leaders who have shown us over and over again that not only are they devoid of character, they don’t care.” Christie told the crowd. “We can’t dismiss the question of character anymore, everybody. If we do, we get what we deserve, and we will have to own it.”
Chris Christie calls Trump, "A lonely self-consumed, self-serving, mirror hog." pic.twitter.com/utR0rbbsxA
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) June 7, 2023