LONDONDERRY, N.H. –Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey says he’s “disappointed” that Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire didn’t back him for the Republican presidential election.
Even though Sununu is supporting Nikki Haley, a former ambassador to the UN and governor of South Carolina, Christie said that “doesn’t change my strategy here one bit.” This is because South Carolina has the first primary and second overall contest in the GOP presidential nomination calendar.
According to Fox News Digital, he told Sununu, “I’m not going anywhere, so let’s be clear about that.” He also said that Christie, Haley, and the other Republican candidates for the White House should not run.
After a town hall meeting in Londonderry, New Hampshire, on Wednesday night, Christie said these things while taking questions from the press. Christie went back to the Granite State on the same day that Sununu continued to campaign with Haley across New Hampshire. He had backed her the night before.
Sununu, a well-liked Republican governor who has been elected and re-elected four times to two-year terms in a key swing state in the northeast, had said for weeks that he would only back Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and Christie, whom he has known for over a decade.
In the last few months, Haley has been doing better in the polls. Right now, she is in second place in New Hampshire, but a long way behind former President Donald Trump, who is still the clear favorite to win the GOP nod and make a third straight run for president.
Christie is putting all of his chips in New Hampshire, just a couple of points behind Haley. This is similar to how he did it when he ran for president as a Republican in 2016, but it didn’t work out.
“I would have been glad to have his help,” Christie said of Sununu. He said, “I would have known exactly what it meant,” which meant he didn’t think the Sununu support was very important. One vote it meant. And it would have been fun to hang out with him. We could have done a buddy show like he and Nikki do, but in the end, no one will tell these people who to vote for…
“This makes me sad. I’m not going to act stupid. Even though it’s disappointing not to get it, “it doesn’t change my strategy here at all,” he said.
Once Sununu backed Nikki Haley on Tuesday, Fox News asked him if Christie should drop out of the race. He said, “I’m behind Nikki Haley.” To be honest, I think they should all leave, even former President Trump. I believe everyone should make room.
But he did say, “They’re going to keep campaigning.” Christie replied, “He should know better.” “He shouldn’t tell anyone when to leave. He can back anyone he wants, but it’s not his job to tell people they should drop out of the race. Making that choice is up to you, and I’m not going anywhere, so let’s be clear about that.”
Sununu told Fox News the night before that he hadn’t told Christie or DeSantis that he was going to support Haley. Christie told Fox News, “I read about it online.” “That’s not the way I would have done it but everybody has to account for their sense of what represents integrity and what doesn’t.”
People in this town, which leans Republican, asked Christie questions for more than an hour and a half in a packed American Legion post. After that, Christie talked to reporters.
The former governor of New Jersey attacked Haley right away and many times during the town hall. He began by criticizing her “word salad” answers about abortion, which he said were a touchy subject. He later told the crowd that she was “politically pandering.”
“People in this state who vote should know where she stands.” Not just her cheery talk. “They should know where she stands,” Christie told reporters after the town hall.
He also said Haley was “not willing to do it.” When it comes to abortion, she wants to be everything to everyone. Being honest about it is not an option because it is too important, too personal, and too serious. I gave you a straight answer. No, she hasn’t.
Even though DeSantis wanted Sununu’s support, he didn’t get it. However, he is focusing most of his time and resources on Iowa, where the GOP nomination process starts on January 15 with the caucuses.
That’s not as bad for Christie, though. She and Haley are both trying to do well in New Hampshire.
Veteran Republican strategist Matthew Bartlett said, “Christie is planting the flag in New Hampshire and to have the governor of the state, who likes him and has an affinity for him, go with someone else and affirm that someone else has a much better pathway, if that’s your only state, it’s almost impossible, not just in New Hampshire but nationwide, to get the nomination.”
Bartlett told Christie, “He needs to look in the mirror.” As the head of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, Neil Levesque, said, “The Sununu endorsement does not help Chris Christie and it is certainly a blow to his campaign.”
But he added, “I don’t think it changes the fact that he’s going to campaign here in New Hampshire and seek the votes, and you never know what’s going to happen.”
“Certainly we would much rather have Gov. Sununu on board with us than with Gov. Haley,” said New Hampshire State Rep. Wayne MacDonald to Fox News. MacDonald is the leader of Christie’s steering group and was the chair of the state GOP. He made it clear, though, that “endorsements are nice, but I think there’s a lot of hype around them.” Even though I like Gov. Sununu, I don’t think this changes the game.