The growing GOP field of presidential candidates added the cantankerous Chris Christie to its ranks this week, with the former New Jersey governor joining Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Vivek Ramaswamy, Asa Hutchinson, Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence and others in challenging former President Donald Trump for the Republican nomination.
Were Trump to maintain his current lead in the polls, he might consider nearly any of the aforementioned candidates as a running mate — that is, once the ugly, name-calling dust of the primary season settles.
Even DeSantis, who has rejected the VP idea by saying he’s more of an “executive” type, might be tempted if his presidential ambitions are shown to require going through Trump instead of over him.
[Note: Pence, of course, served already as VP in Trump’s administration and, though the two men had a bitter falling out, no Republican really thinks Pence would say no if Trump asked him again.]
But Chris Christie? With his candidacy, the tough talking ex governor has announced his intent to take direct aim at Donald Trump, painting the former President as unfit to lead in 2024, despite backing Trump in the past.
If he’s true to his promise, Christie is set to distinguish himself as being perhaps the only current GOP candidate for whom the consolation prize of the Vice Presidency is not an option.
I’m the only candidate who can take on Donald Trump and tell the truth.— Chris Christie (@GovChristie) June 6, 2023
Every other Republican thinks they can tiptoe around him. I don’t tiptoe.
Get me on the stage and get your popcorn ready: https://t.co/6bndZTT9OO
If Christie maintains his word that he will go after Trump with all his ammunition, he takes himself out of VP consideration if Trump wins the nomination. But will Christie burn those bridges fully?
The below video is Christie bashing Trump, yes, but with a feather.
“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,” Chris Christie says as he announces his run. pic.twitter.com/jev5KjXAsg— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) June 6, 2023
Putin’s puppet, however, which is what Christie calls Trump below, is a more powerful charge.
Donald Trump refused to say tonight that he wanted Ukraine to win the war with Russia. More proof that he continues to be Putin’s puppet.— Chris Christie (@GovChristie) May 11, 2023
Traditionally when there is a major frontrunner at the top of a party’s presidential ticket race, the inevitable also-rans who file in behind the chalk are looking to build their name recognition and potentially secure the second prize — the Vice President’s seat.
Warm bucket of spit or not, the VP gig is still seen as a good a launching pad for an Oval Office bid, even if the last figure to make the leap directly was George H. W. Bush, flying out from under Ronald Reagan‘s coattails. (President Biden served as Vice President, of course, in Barack Obama‘s administration, but he did not run for President as the sitting VP — he ran four years later.)
The VP catapult came thisclose to working also for Al Gore, but George W. Bush and the Supreme Court toppled Gore’s rise.