Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he won’t defer to former president Donald Trump if they both decide to run for the White House again in 2024.
Christie, who lost the 2016 Republican presidential nomination to Trump, said his decision to run won’t be affected by any other Republican candidate, Trump included.
“And I’m also not going to be one of these people who’s going to say, ‘Well, I’ll wait to see what President Trump’s going to do.’ You know, I’m not going to defer to anyone if I decide that it’s what I want to do and that I think I’m the best option for the party and for the country,” Christie said on Tuesday.
Deferring to someone demonstrates “weakness and indecision,” he added.
Though he didn’t mention anyone directly, Christie’s comments seemed to be targeted at former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who recently said she would not enter the presidential race if Trump decided to run again.
“I would not run if President Trump ran,” Haley said in April. “And I would talk to him about it. You know, that’s something that we will have a conversation about at some point if that decision is something that has to be made.”
This isn’t the first time Christie has hinted at challenging Trump for the GOP nomination.
In December, he was asked by conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt whether another presidential run was a possibility, and Christie said he hadn’t ruled one out.
“If I go and look up Christie2024, will that URL already be reserved?” Hewitt asked Christie.
“ChrisChristie.com is, sir, so we’re gonna keep that one and we’ll see where we go from here,” he replied.
Trump and Christie have been at odds ever since Christie criticized the former president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Christie also complained that Trump didn’t follow his advice ahead of the presidential debates with President Joe Biden.