New Jersey Gov. Christ Christie announced on June 30 he is running for president. He becomes the 14th Republican to enter into the party’s primary election.
Christie said in his announcement he had spent the last 13 years “fighting for fairness” as a U.S. attorney and governor, and he is now ready to fight for the entire U.S.
“We need to have strength and decision-making and authority back in the Oval Office. And that is why today I am proud to announce my candidacy for the Republican nomination for president of the United States of America,” Christie said at his launch rally.
Christie promised a campaign of “big ideas and hard truths” at the rally. “I mean what I say and I say what I mean and that’s what American needs right now,” he said. He also promised to speak honestly “whether you like it or not.”
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Christie set out to distinguish himself from other candidates even before the official launch of the campaign. He proposed a major overhaul to important entitlement programs, risking alienation of senior citizen voters, NBC News reports.
As the 14th Republican presidential candidate to launch a presidential campaign, Christie faces an uphill battle. The “Bridgegate” scandal that marked his time as governor has led to a major decline of Republican support for Christie’s White House bid.
A poll released by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal found that 55 percent of Republican primary voters don't see themselves backing Christie. May's poll by ABC News and The Washington Post found 22 percent of Americans see Christie favorably, while 48 percent do not.
His home state approval has also seen a drop since he won the 2013 election with ease.
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“You make hard decisions over a long time,” Christie told NBC. “If you look at the history of my poll numbers, I’ve gone up and down in this state. I earn political capital to spend it. Not to keep it in a drawer or put it on a frame on the wall."
But the often blunt, moderate Republican, says his tough talking is a strength: His campaign slogan is: “Tell It Like It Is.”
One day after Christie revealed his campaign site, a short video was posted of the governor in a town-hall style environment, ABC News reports.
“I get accused a lot of times of being too blunt and too direct and saying what’s on my mind just a little bit too loudly,” Christie said in the video. “I know if my mom were still alive, she would say to me, ‘I taught you that in a trusting relationship, you don’t hold anything back.’”
Photo Credit: Screenshot via Chris Christie 2016