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Chris Christie Grilled at Town Hall After Positioning Himself as Anti-Trump

The former New Jersey governor is one of many Republicans who have attempted to distance themselves from Trump.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks at a campaign event for Gov. Brian Kemp on May 17, 2022, in Canton, Georgia.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) recently suggested that he is considering a 2024 presidential run.

During a town hall on Monday night in Goffstown, New Hampshire, Christie denounced recent comments from former President Donald Trump and called for the Republican Party to nominate an alternative candidate in the next election, hinting that he might run himself.

“The only person [Trump] cares about is him,” Christie said. “And if we haven’t learned that since Election Day of 2020 to today, then we are not paying attention.”

Some members of the crowd pointed out that Christie’s stance on Trump has been inconsistent.

“I’m glad to hear you standing up against Trump, [but] when the results came in [in 2016], you jumped ship on us,” said one New Hampshire resident, addressing Christie directly.

“We all made a strategic error … I stayed with him in 2016 because I didn’t want Hillary Clinton to be president,” Christie said.

Christie then claimed that he and other Republicans who bad-mouthed Trump but ultimately backed him against Clinton didn’t know “what kind of president he really would be or not.”

“I did,” the person who asked the question responded, adding that he might consider voting for Christie in the GOP primary if he decides to run.

Like many Republicans, Christie has changed his tune on Trump numerous times, denouncing him only when it is politically expedient. Despite initially opposing Trump in 2016, Christie agreed to lead Trump’s transition team — albeit for only two days — after he won the presidency, and praised Trump in a memoir he wrote while Trump was president.

Christie’s recent criticism of Trump appears to be strategic, as the GOP’s base is perhaps less likely to back Trump than in previous years. Still, most Republicans aren’t opposed to Trump running for president again — a recently published Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that Trump is the preferred nominee among a plurality of GOP-leaning voters, with 44 percent saying he should be selected. While 62 percent of respondents overall say they don’t want Trump to run again, 55 percent of Republican-leaning voters say they do want him to run.

The Republican closest behind Trump is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, with 30 percent of Republican voters saying he should be the nominee, the poll shows.

Christie, who hasn’t yet announced a presidential run, has only 1 percent support from Republicans.

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