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Chris Christie has announced he is running for president

“If you are in search of the perfect candidate, it is time to leave. I am not it.”

SHARE Chris Christie has announced he is running for president

Republican presidential candidate and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses a gathering, Tuesday, June 6, 2023, in Manchester, N.H. Christie filed paperwork Tuesday formally launching his bid for the Republican nomination for president after casting himself as the only candidate willing to directly take on former President Donald Trump.

Charles Krupa, Associated Press

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced he’s running for president Tuesday at a town hall in Manchester, New Hampshire.

“I intend to seek the Republican nomination for president of the United States in 2024 and I want your support,” Christie said during remarks at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.

Christie, who also ran for president in 2016, said he wasn’t a perfect candidate but argued that voters shouldn’t want a candidate who pretends to be perfect.

“If you are in search of the perfect candidate, it is time to leave. I am not it,” he said. “I think what true leaders do is not try to pretend to you that we’re perfect, because we’re human just like you.”

Christie called out former President Donald Trump by name during his remarks and criticized Trump for saying the U.S. should default on its debt and for idolizing Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

“Beware of the leader in this country who you have handed leadership to who has never made a mistake, who has never done anything wrong, who when something goes wrong it’s always someone else’s fault, and who has never lost,” he said. “A leader like that thinks America’s greatness resides in the mirror he’s looking at.”

“I believe that America’s greatness resides out there, among all of you, and that any of us who get the opportunity to serve are merely temporary stewards of that greatness,” Christie said.

He also criticized “pretenders” who he said “want to tell you pick me ‘cause I’m kind of like what you picked before but not quite as crazy” and said President Joe Biden is “out of his depth because he’s not the guy he used to be.”

Christie doesn’t appear on the national polling average from FiveThirtyEight, which doesn’t include candidates with insufficient polling data. In New Hampshire, Christie is polling at 1%, according to a March survey of registered voters in the state from Saint Anselm College.

Christie is the ninth major Republican candidate to announce so far with two more candidates, former Vice President Mike Pence and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, expected to announce their campaigns on Wednesday.

Christie tweeted that he’s running because “the truth still matters.”

“We need leaders that are willing to stand up and tell it like it is,” he wrote. “That’s what this campaign is about.”

Christie focused his 2016 campaign on New Hampshire, where he finished in sixth before dropping out. When asked by a town hall attendee what he had learned since his last run, Christie said, “motion isn’t progress”

“I’m much more experienced about how to do this now and what really matters is to get the job done,” he said. “Every endorsement doesn’t matter. Last time I was obsessed with endorsements.”

He said his last campaign he chose to announce at a town hall meeting while speaking to and answering questions from voters rather than a rally because, “If I want to win, this is the best way to do it, to find out what you care about.”