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Chris Christie Out Of Presidential Race

Chris Christie

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.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. C. Clavin says:

    The two biggest things fat boy has ever done are Bridge-gate and fwck up Rubie.
    I mean, other than having the New Jersey State credit rating dropped 9 times…thanks to the Republican economic agenda.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  2. CSK says:

    Fiorina has bailed as well.

    Edit: I see this has already been noted. You can delete this comment if you like.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Facebones says:

    Not surprised. His whole selling point was that he was a loud mouthed bully who “told it like it is.” Well, Trump’s a bigger, louder, and more racist bully, so what’s the point in voting for bully-lite?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  4. Gustopher says:

    Does this mean that all of the under 10% candidates will be dropping out soon? I’ll miss them. The clown car will seem empty without them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. Hal_10000 says:

    So between him and Fiorina, this frees up 5% of the non-Trump vote. The problem was never Fiorina and Christie. It’s Bush, Rubio, Cruz and Kasich. Until one of them breaks through, Trump is still the front-runner.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  6. CSK says:

    @Hal_10000:

    And isn’t that depressing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. Paul Hooson says:

    He made a terrible impression. Despite being a former prosecutor, he reminded voters too much of being some thug or something. Why people don’t tune that out with Trump is also surprising…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. Andre Kenji says:

    So, now I can travel to United states next year and I don´t face the risk of being quarantined? Unless I enter the country via Newark, sure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. An Interested Party says:

    He should take solace in the fact that he served one very useful purpose before he had to crawl back to Trenton with his tail between his legs…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  10. Franklin says:

    I actually sort of liked his persona before the bridge scandal. Taken down by the crappy aides he surrounded himself with. Sounds similar to my governor at the moment (Snyder) …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  11. MarkedMan says:

    (Repeating myself from the other Christie thread)
    YMMV but at least to me he ended in a stereotypical way. He identified Rubio as the guy least likely to effectively fight back and then started pummeling him. Personally I don’t think he had a strategy around this. He didn’t think people would rally to him because he punched the peanut in the head. It’s just the type of guy he is. If he is going to be driven from the race he may as well enjoy himself on the way out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Franklin: I got tired of his act about 2 months into it but then I’ve never been very fond of people who habitually punch down.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  13. J-Dub says:

    No need for that diet any longer. I wish I owned a Dunkin’ Donuts in Trenton right about now…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0