Chris Christie Out Of Presidential Race
Confirming speculation from earlier in the day, it has been reported that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is officially dropping out of the race for President:
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, a once-commanding figure in the Republican Party who struggled to attract support for his presidential campaign, but unsettled the race with his strident attacks on Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, is ending his run for the White House.
Mr. Christie has told allies that he plans to suspend his campaign, according to two people briefed on his intentions, and is meeting with his staff on Wednesday to discuss the decision.
The decision comes a day after Mr. Christie came in sixth in the New Hampshire primary, an embarrassing showing after he had focused the bulk of his campaign’s efforts on the state. He was also facing the prospect of being left off the stage at the Republican debate on Saturday because of his poor showings in the Iowa caucuses last week and in New Hampshire on Tuesday.
Officials with Mr. Christie’s campaign would not confirm the decision, but his allies confirmed his plans to drop out, with one saying, “He’s done.”
There was a time, of course, when Christie was considered a star candidate for President and, indeed, at several points during the run-up to the 2012 Presidential race he was courted by top Republican donors to enter the race at a time when it seemed like Mitt Romney was in danger of losing control of the race thanks to the rise of candidates such as Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain. Ultimately, Christie passed on a 2012 run and instead chose to run for re-election as New Jersey Governor, a race he won so easily that he was immediately deemed a top candidate for the GOP’s 2016 Presidential nomination. That speculation came to a quick end in the wake of a scandal involving several of Christie’s top aides and the closure of several lanes of traffic leading to the George Washington Bridge in the weeks before the 2013 General Election. Christie has never been found to have any knowledge or connection to the scandal, but it did real damage to the image he had cultivated and many believed he would never recover.
Ultimately, Christie did enter the race for President at the end of June, but he was a candidate far diminished from where he had been earlier in his tenure. As a result, Christie was an afterthought for most of the campaign until his relentless campaigning in New Hampshire seemed to show him rising in the polls there and his debate performances started to get more and more positive press. His campaign got its biggest boost in December when he received the endorsement of the New Hampshire Union-Leader and became much more of a focus of press attention than he had been for several months. Most recently, Christie made news thanks to his utterly devastating takedown of Marco Rubio during last Saturday’s Republican debate. Unfortunately for Christie, while that debate does appear to have damaged Rubio, perhaps fatally, it didn’t help Christie very much and he ended up finishing sixth in the New Hampshire primary with 7.5 % of the vote. More importantly, looking ahead Christie is barely a factor in the South Carolina primary or the national polling. Given that, ending the campaign at this time seems like the most logical thing to do.
Christie still has nearly two full years left on his time as Governor of New Jersey, so there will be plenty for him to do. Additionally, there’s been much speculation that if a Republican did manage to win the General Election in November, Christie would be a potential nominee for a cabinet position, possible Attorney General. If that doesn’t happen, then Christie is likely to return to the private sector where, no doubt, he’d find more than a few law firms interested in putting his name on the door.