By: Morgan Reitzel, Follow South Jersey Intern
SOUTH JERSEY – Former Republican New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, who held office from 2010 to 2018 has launched his run for the presidency in the 2024 election after failing to win the presidency in 2016.
Many people in the political circles believe that Christie was a force to be reckoned with and would “tell you how it is” making him a good candidate for future political positions. Donald Trump and Chris Christie had a falling out after Trump denied the results of the 2020 presidential election and even endorsed him after suspending his own campaign to advise Trump’s. Since the falling out, Christie has blasted Trump on cable news shows and vowing to never support him again. Christie is running his campaign directly in the hopes of beating out Trump.
The Tell It Like It Is PAC was launched just last month to support Christie’s campaign which is led by Republican National Committee member Bill Palatucci, former U.S. Sen. Jeff Chiesa, and former U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks.
“Governor Christie has proven he’s unafraid to tell it like it is and is willing to confront the hard truths that currently threaten the future of the Republican Party,” said Brian Jones, the PAC’s executive director. “Now more than ever, we need leaders that have the courage to say not what we want to hear, but what we need to hear.”
Christie captured the nation’s attention in 2012 during Hurricane Sandy and became the face of the recovery efforts. Fighting for the homeowner victims whose houses were destroyed in the storm, Christie pushed back against GOP critics who slammed his friendly relationship with president Obama and former House Speaker John Boehner for holding up Sandy relief. Christie was nearly drafted into the 2012 presidential election by Republican party elders and saw him as a potential contender against potential Democratic President Barack Obama. However, Christie was set on running for the presidency in 2016.
The praised governor took a hit in 2016 when the Bridgegate scandal happened just months after his reelection for his second term as the New Jersey Governor. The New Jersey Democrats made public emails that linked Christie’s office to absurd lane closures at the George Washington bridge in September 2013. The federal prosecutors said that three Christie allies closed lanes to punish a local Democratic mayor for refusing to endorse the governor’s re election. One pleaded guilty and two others, Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly, were convicted and sentenced to 18 and 13 months respectively for their role in the scandal.
Eventhough Christie was not accused of doing anything wrong, the Bridgegate scandal tarnished Christie’s reputation and ultimately was the reason he ended up sixth in the Republican party race for the presidency. The scandal raised questions of Christie’s “tell it how it is” method of leading and his overall judgment.
Another blow to his reputation was when Christie shut down beaches in July 2017 to the public due to a state government shutdown but was seen sitting on Island Beach State Park with his wife Mary Pat. It seemed that Christie did not care about what others thought of him since he was almost out of office and lost the presidential election. Having his state park police turn away families who arrived at the main beach’s gate he says, “That’s just the way it goes. Run for governor, and you can have a residence,” when asked why he would sit on the beach that he closed.
Unsurprisingly, at the end of his term there were only 26% of New Jerseyans that favored him.
After leaving the New Jersey Governor’s mansion in January 2018, Christie became a cable news commentator for ABC and wrote a memoir in 2019 called Let Me Finish.
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