Perhaps no other figure in the Republican Party has seen their star power rise and fall As drastically in the past decade as former New Jersey governor Chris Christie. Once considered one of the favorites to win the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary nomination, Christie’s campaign never managed to stay among the upper tier in a larger-than-anticipated field of competitors. Prior to Trump’s entry into the 2016 field, Christie was viewed by many as the best potential nominee to debate Hillary Clinton without backing down. While analysts can point to various campaign moments and strategies that didn’t succeed, an obvious hindrance to Christie’s ability to breakthrough was his similarly bold tone and speaking style, which voters could already find in Trump. Not only was Christie’s tough, street fighter persona no longer unique, it drove a wedge between Reagan conservatives when Christie unleashed a devastating series of attacks on Florida Senator Marco Rubio. At that point of the primary, Christie had nothing to lose, but Rubio was in a pivotal moment and riding the coattails of recent primary victory in South Carolina and emerging as a viable alternative to Trump with broader appeal than Ted Cruz.
Ultimately, Christie’s attacks on Rubio did nothing to help Christie elevate his poll numbers but helped Trump clear one of his biggest hurdles to the Republican nomination.
Christie showed strong allegiance to Trump after bowing out of the 2016 Republican primary and was tapped to lead Trump’s transition team, but Christie later admitted that the transition team had barely made any concrete plans due to Trump’s apathy and lack of belief that he would actually win the 2016 election. After completing his role with President Trump, Christie returned to civilian life but publicly aired his disagreements with many of Trump’s actions. In 2021, Christie started a book tour which most political analyst viewed as Christie’s attempt to reenter the discussion as a potential presidential candidate for the 2024 field. One of the most surprising and reported aspects of Christie’s book tour occurred during various media interviews when Christie insisted that Trump’s potential presence in the 2024 GOP primary would not factor into his own decision-making process when the deadline comes to commit to another Republican Primary campaign. The working assumption with most of the GOP’s prospects is that they will yield to Trump if and when Trump officially declares his candidacy.
On the issues, Christie gained national attention during his first term as New Jersey’s governor as he took on public sector unions, particularly in the department of education in the state of New Jersey. Unlike most Northeastern governors, Christie was on afraid of taking on teachers unions head-on apologies. Throughout a series of town hall meetings, Christie became a viral hit on YouTube and gained the attention of conservative media leaders such as Glenn Beck. Fans of Christie praised his blunt answers to questions about teacher pensions and other education funding reform that many other politicians typically dodge. Christie’s ability to effortlessly cite fiscal facts and figures to skeptical voters and fellow leaders made him a media spectacle and expanded Christie fanbase, not only in New Jersey but across the nation, as more viewers saw his talking points highlighted throughout social media. Christie’s toughest challenges during his first term involved convincing a Democrat-dominated state legislature to balance a budget that had been bloated by the previous governor.
Christie’s background in law and his sharp confidence bordering on arrogance, made him very appealing too many northeast conservatives who appreciated the same qualities in formwork New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani well Christie was writing sky high with over 50% approval in a blue state. The honeymoon was short-lived due to the timing of Christie’s praise of Barack Obama’s handling of FEMA’s response to Hurricane Sandy. Christie’s words came less than 10 days prior to the 2012 election day, and may have swayed swing voters in a race where several swing states were within the margin of error.
If the first term’s ending is described as a skid, Christie’s second term proved to be a collosal train wreck, thanks to the scandal that would become known as “Bridgegate”, which involved shutting down commuter lanes at the George Washington Bridge in order to punish the city of Fort Lee’s mayor for refusing to back Christie’s 2013 reelection effort. Another PR disaster for Christie occurred when he was spotted sunbathing on the beach with his family on the very same shoreline that he had closed to the public during a budget standoff with state legislators. Combined with Bridgegate, it tarnished what was left of any “every man” quality or charming personality Christie formerly enjoyed among the public. Rather than boarding into the 2016 field as a top-tier candidate Christie stumbled out of the gates and despite a late slight surge he was unable to attract sufficient support from many voters who preferred a bold & strong personality without the government career background.
Should Christie officially declare him self as a 2024 Presidential candidate in the Republican Primary, his chances for success will hand John trumps decision on whether or not to run. Should Trump decide to stay out of the 2024 race, Christie may emerge as a top choice for Republicans preferring a blend speaking hard charging candidate that won’t hold any punches. On the downside, Christie’s puckish personality prevents him from winning over many Republicans who prefer I candidate viewed as more friendly and likable due to the likability factor playing such a key role and trumps failure to win in 2020 versus Joe Biden. The best case scenario for Christie in 2024 would be a small field without Trump and with no other governors which would allow Christie to tout his experience in an executive role, a strength he often flexed when he ran against Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio in 2016.
Chris Christie’s Record on Taxes:
• Raised gas taxes but eliminated estate taxes and Americans for Tax Reform dubbed Christie as the governor who has “vetoed more tax increases than any other governor in modern American history.”
Chris Christie’s Record on 2nd Amendment and gun rights vs. gun control:
• Following his election to governor in 2009, Christie endorsed a series of gun reforms, including a ban on .50-caliber weapons. The moves came in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Christie said there’s no need for those weapons to be sold to the general public.
• Christie signed nearly a dozen bills in 2013 restricting firearms, including one to stop individuals on the federal terror watch list from buying guns.
• In 2013, the Legislature sent Christie a bill banning .50-caliber weapons. Christie vetoed it. He also vetoed legislation banning magazines with more than 10 rounds of ammunition. New Jersey Democrats pointed to this sequence as a turning point, with Christie shifting to the right to appeal to Republican presidential primary voters.
• In 2014, as Christie’s attorney general declined to defend a state law on handgun permits that was being challenged in state appellate courts, Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak insisted “the governor supports New Jersey’s already tough gun laws.’’
• Chris Christie’s Record on Abortion:
In 2009, Christie declared he was anti-abortion.” He has stated, with respect to his opposition to abortion, that he would not use the governor’s office to “force that down people’s throats”, but does favor restrictions on abortion such as banning “partial-birth abortion”, requiring parental notification, and imposing a 24-hour waiting period. He does support legal access to abortion in cases of rape, incest, or if the woman’s life is in danger. In 2010 Christie vetoed $7.5 million in funding for family planning clinics, including Planned Parenthood, saying the money was duplicative and unaffordable. He vetoed the funding four more times in following years. Christie had repeatedly stated the decision was financial and not one based on his beliefs.
In 2014, campaigning in Alabama for incumbent governor Robert Bentley, Christie stated that he was the first “pro-life governor” elected in New Jersey since Roe v. Wade in 1973. He also stated that he had vetoed funding for Planned Parenthood five times as governor. In March 2015, Christie joined other potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates in endorsing a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
In February 2015, Christie stated. “I’m pro-life, I ran as a pro-life candidate in 2009 unapologetically, spoke at the pro-life rally on the steps of the Statehouse — the first governor to ever speak at a pro-life rally on the steps of the Statehouse — and vetoed Planned Parenthood funding five times out of the New Jersey budget.”
• Chris Christie’s Record on Gov’t Spending:
Chris Christie balanced the budget during his two terms in office and used his line-item veto powers to keep total state spending under $30 billion after lawmakers sought to increase the budget by nearly $1 billion. In February 2010, Christie signed an executive order declaring a “state of fiscal emergency” due to the projected $2.2 billion budget deficit for that fiscal year. Christie proposed a new budget which eliminated the New Jersey Department of the Public Advocate, which had an upkeep of $1.3 million. In late June 2011, Christie utilized New Jersey’s line-item veto to eliminate nearly $1 billion from the proposed budget, signing it into law just hours prior to July 1, 2011, the beginning of the state’s fiscal year. That same year, Christie signed into law a payroll tax cut authorizing the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development to reduce payroll deduction for most employees from $148 to $61 per year. During Christie’s tenure, New Jersey’s credit rating was downgraded nine times (across Standard & Poor, Fitch Ratings, and Moody’s Investors Service), leaving only Illinois with a lower rating among U.S. states. Christie received a B grade in 2012 and in 2014 from the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, in their biennial fiscal policy report on America’s governors.
• Chris Christie’s Record on Labor and Public Sector Unions:
New Jersey’s state supreme court ruled that Christie could cut $1.6 billion from state pension funding. Christie, in 2010, who signed a law that committed the state to fully funding the actuarial estimate by the 2018 fiscal year.
In March 2010, Christie signed into law three state pension reform bills, which had passed with bipartisan support. The laws decreased pension benefits for future hires and required public employees to contribute 1.5 percent of their salaries toward their health care. The laws prompted a lawsuit by the police and firefighters’ unions. In his campaign for governor, Christie opposed any change in pension benefits for firefighters and law enforcement officers, including “current officers, future officers or retirees”. He described the pension agreement as “a sacred trust”.
Later that year, he called for further cuts, including the elimination of cost-of-living adjustments for all current and future retirees. In June 2011, Christie announced a deal with the Democratic leadership of the legislature on a reform of public employee pensions and benefits. The deal raised public employees’ pension contributions, mandated the state to make annual payments into the system, increased public employee contributions toward health insurance premiums, and ended collective bargaining for health benefits. The reform is projected to save the state $120 billion over 30 years.
In June 2013, Christie signed a $33 billion state budget that makes a record $1.7 billion payment to the state’s pension fund and also increases school funding by almost $100 million. The budget resulted from negotiations between Christie and Democratic leaders in the state legislature and was the first that Christie has signed as passed, without vetoing any of its provisions.
In May 2014, Christie cut the contributions to New Jersey public workers’ pension funds for a 14-month period by nearly $2.5 billion to deal with a revenue shortfall in the state budget of $2.75 billion. The state will instead make a $1.3 billion payment during the period. Christie cited the state constitution’s requirement to have a balanced budget for his decision to cut payments to pensions for state workers, and follows Christie’s changes to the state’s pension formula earlier in 2014 to save $900 million through the end of his term. Christie signed into law landmark pension and health benefit reform, savings for New Jersey taxpayers over $120 billion.
• Chris Christie’s Record on Immigration:
Christie signed legislation allowing unauthorized immigrants who attend high school for at least three years in New Jersey and graduate to be eligible for the resident rates at state college and universities and community colleges
• Chris Christie’s Record on Transportation:
Christie cancelled the Access to the Region’s Core project, which would have constructed two new tunnels under the Hudson River and a new terminal station in New York City for NJ Transit commuter trains. Christopher O. Ward advocated for the tunnel on behalf of the Port Authority. Christie cited escalating costs and possible further overruns as the reason for his decision. Proponents of the project said it would have created 6,000 construction jobs per year and 45,000 secondary jobs once complete. After the cancellation, New Jersey had to return $95 million to the federal government, and used $1.8 billion of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey money from the project budget to pay for repairs to the Pulaski Skyway, since the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund that should fund such maintenance was effectively bankrupt. The termination of the project has made the need for increased rail capacity under the Hudson River more urgent, and Amtrak’s Gateway Project to bore new tunnels is currently unfunded
• Chris Christie’s Record on Crime and Law Enforcement:
Christie has been critical about section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, enacted in 1996, which can be used to grant local law enforcement officers power to perform immigration law enforcement functions.
• Chris Christie’s Record on Regulations:
On his first day in office Governor Christie initiated a comprehensive review of all government rules and regulations which led to the elimination of over 2,200 pages of onerous and unnecessary regulations.
- Marco Rubio’s broken record blunder costs him New Hampshire debate https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/07/republican-debate-new-hampshire-marco-rubio-chris-christie-donald-trump-ted-cruz
- Christie is now New Jersey’s least popular governor ever, with 15 percent approval. https://www.politico.com/states/new-jersey/story/2017/06/14/with-15-percent-approval-christie-is-now-new-jerseys-least-popular-governor-ever-112747
- Chris Christie Is the Most Unpopular Governor in 20 Years. In Any State. https://www.google.com/amp/s/time.com/4818151/chris-christie-poll-new-jersey/%3Famp%3Dtrue
- Opinion: Chris Christie’s Surprisingly Solid Record in Public. Education https://www.njspotlightnews.org/wp-includes/js/thickbox/thickbox.css
- Chris Christie’s Donald Trump Problem. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/11/29/chris-christies-donald-trump-problem
- Rubio says, shows Chris Christie’s Record on Key Conservative Priorities Hasn’t Been So Strong. https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/press-release-chris-christies-record-key-conservative-priorities-hasnt-been-so-strong
- Christie signs legislation raising gas tax by 23 cents per gallon. https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/2016/10/14/christie-signs-legislation-raising-gas-tax-by-23-cents-per-gallon/93049710/
- Chris Christie, Democrats agree to raise gas tax, eliminate estate tax. https://www.wsj.com/articles/chris-christie-democrats-agree-to-raise-gas-tax-eliminate-estate-tax-1475272220
- Christie enacts infrastructure plan raising gas tax 23 cents. / https://www.politico.com/states/new-jersey/story/2016/10/christie-enacts-16b-infrastructure-plan-raising-gas-tax-23-cents-106416
- Christie says he ‘changed his mind’ on guns. https://www.politico.com/story/2016/01/chris-christie-guns-217437
- Ten Things to know about Chris Christie and gun control. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2015/12/08/10-things-know-chris-christie-and-gun-control/77009148/
Birth date: September 6, 1962
Birth place: Newark, New Jersey
Birth name: Christopher James Christie
Marriage: Mary Pat Christie (1986-present)
Children: Bridget, Patrick, Sarah and Andrew
Education: University of Delaware, B.A., 1984; Seton Hall University, J.D., 1987
Religion: Roman Catholic
While serving as the US attorney for New Jersey, Christie prosecuted more than 130 public officials for corruption.
A fan of Bruce Springsteen, Christie claims to have attended more than 100 of the New Jersey rocker’s performances.
1977 – Volunteers for Republican Tom Kean’s gubernatorial campaign.
1987-2002 – Attorney at the law firm of Dughi and Hewit, later named Dughi, Hewit & Palatucci PC.
1992 – Co-coordinates US President George H.W. Bush’s New Jersey reelection efforts.
1993 – Becomes a partner at Dughi and Hewit.
1995-1997 – Member of the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
1997 – Director of the Freeholder Board.
2002-2008 – US attorney for New Jersey. Earns a reputation for being tough on corruption.
Candidate’s Most-Viewed Videos: