The former New Jersey governor Chris Christie is set to suspend his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, multiple outlets reported on Wednesday.
Christie’s exit would remove from the race the only candidate willing to base his campaign on attacking Donald Trump, the former president who faces 91 criminal charges arising from his conduct since entering politics, including his attempt to overturn the 2020 election, multiple civil cases and moves to remove him from the ballot in states including Colorado and Maine.
A longtime Trump ally and adviser since endorsing him in 2016, Christie stayed loyal even after Trump nearly killed him with Covid-19, only to turn after Trump incited the deadly attack on Congress of 6 January 2021.
In a recent campaign ad, Christie said: “Eight years ago when I decided to endorse Donald Trump for president, I did it because he was winning, and I did it because I thought I could make him a better candidate and a better president. Well, I was wrong, I made a mistake.”
Long seen as suspect by hardline Republican voters, largely over his past as governor of an east coast, predominantly Democratic state, he could not make much of an impact.
Christie’s failed presidential campaign in 2016 and scandal-tainted record in office – in 2013, he became embroiled in the Bridgegate scandal over political payback – also worked against him.