New Jersey governor Chris Christie announced today that he would end his presidential campaign after coming in sixth place in New Hampshire.
Campaign spokeswoman Samantha Smith confirmed to Breitbart News that Christie broke the news of his decision to staff at his campaign headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey, this afternoon.
“I have both won elections that I was supposed to lose and I’ve lost elections I was supposed to win and what that means is you never know what will happen,” Christie said in a statement. “That is both the magic and the mystery of politics – you never quite know when which is going to happen, even when you think you do.”
Once a darling of the Republican establishment desperate for an alternative to Mitt Romney in 2012, Christie’s campaign failed to take off in a political cycle that embraced Donald Trump.
Christie’s blunt, straightforward, “tell it like it is” style that impressed Republicans in 2012 was overwhelmed by Trump’s New York-style campaign that was louder and more controversial.
“I ran for president to say that the government needs to once again work for the people, not the people work for the government,” Christie said. “And while running for president I tried to reinforce what I have always believed – that speaking your mind matters, that experience matters, that competence matters and that it will always matter in leading our nation.”
Launching his campaign in June, Christie started at the bottom of the pack but appeared convinced that with time, he could earn the respect of Republican voters — particularly in New Hampshire.
Christie was never the most conservative governor in the race, particularly when Scott Walker, Rick Perry, and Bobby Jindal were still involved. As a conservative governor in a blue state like New Jersey frequently combating the New York-area media, Christie believed he was tested to the point where he could successfully be the top governor — beating the less charismatic governors Jeb Bush and John Kasich.
The governor spent hours in multiple town halls in New Hampshire, patiently taking unfiltered questions on how he would approach the highest political office in the United States.
He was dismissive of the freshman senators in the race — Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Sen. Marco Rubio — viewing them as Washington politicians trying to follow the same path to victory as President Obama.
He was immediately aggressive with Rand Paul over foreign policy and surveillance issues, which increased in prominence after the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.
Christie frequently spent time in debates breaking up the fights between the freshman senators squabbling over their records of political accomplishment, and focusing on his own record as a federal prosecutor and governor.
When attacked by Rubio’s Super PAC in New Hampshire, Christie retaliated against the freshman senator for having a thin political resume and living in a staff-created “bubble” to protect him from the press. When asked about the ads, Rubio would only cite Christie’s moderate record on issues like Common Core, judicial nominations, and credit downgrades in the state of New Jersey.
Christie’s revenge was knocking Rubio off script in New Hampshire — shaking the growing sense of eligibility for the Florida Senator after placing third in Iowa.
It’s unlikely that Christie will ever endorse Rubio, but he may endorse one of his fellow Republican governors in the race – as he has signaled respect for both Kasich and Bush.
“Today, I leave the race without an ounce of regret,” he said. “I’m so proud of the campaign we ran, the people that ran it with me and all those who gave us their support and confidence along the way.”