2024 Election

Chris Christie Drops Out of 2024 race, Predicts Nikki Haley ‘going to get smoked’ on Hot Mic


Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie dropped out of the 2024 Republican presidential race on Wednesday — but not before getting caught on a hot mic blasting his rival Nikki Haley as “not up to this” and mocking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as “petrified.”

Moments before Christie, 61, announced at a town hall in Windham, NH, he was suspending his campaign, The Post heard him on a video feed promoted by his campaign grousing about the state of the race.

“She’s spent $68 million so far just on TV,” Christie said of Haley before the video was yanked offline, later adding that DeSantis had spent “$59 million … and we’ve spent 12.

Christie said he would drop out of the campaign on Wednesday in New Hampshire.

“Who’s punching above their weight and who’s getting a return on their investment?” Christie went on. “You know? And she’s going to get smoked. And you and I both know it,

Seemingly unaware that he could be heard to anyone waiting for him to take the stage, Christie added that “DeSantis called me petrified that I would,” apparently referencing leaving the race, before another person said: “He’s probably getting out after Iowa.”

DeSantis did call Christie shortly before his announcement to thank him for taking part in the 2024 campaign, a source familiar with the exchange told The Post.

Then, the source added, Christie complained again about Haley, telling DeSantis she was a “joke,” had “performed terribly” and was “not up to the task.”

DeSantis responded to the uproar by tweeting shortly before he took the stage in Iowa to debate Haley one-on-one: “I agree with Christie that Nikki Haley is ‘going to get smoked.’”

The Garden Stater tried to cast himself as the best choice to take on former President Donald Trump, calling him unfit for office, admitting he had made a mistake by backing Trump in 2016, and accusing Haley and DeSantis of really positioning themselves to run for president in 2028, given their reluctance to criticize the odds-on favorite for the nomination.

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On stage in Windham, Christie name-checked recent Trump endorsers Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) and Sen. John Barasso (R-Wyo.), saying that “they know better” and “I know they know better.”

Christie polled behind Haley with 12% support in New Hampshire.

“From the moment I got into the race, the decision that I made was really simple: I would rather lose by telling the truth than lying in order to win,” Christie said. “And I feel no differently today.”

“I’ve always said that if there came a point in time in this race where I couldn’t see a path to [win the nomination] that I would get out,” he added. “And it’s clear to me tonight that there is no path for me to win the nomination, which is why I’m suspending my campaign tonight for President of the United States.”

Christie did throw in some parting shots at his rivals, shading DeSantis for waiting to volunteer during the first primary debate in August that he would support Trump if the former president is the GOP nominee and is convicted in one of the four criminal cases pending against him.

“I give Ron credit, he had to look at everybody else first to see if he wanted to raise his hand,” Christie said to chuckles from the audience. “But then he raised his hand — kind of like cheating off somebody’s paper in high school.”

Turning to Haley, Christie referenced a gaffe she made at a New Hampshire town hall last month when she failed to mention one big reason for the Civil War.

Referring to Benjamin Franklin’s famous admonition that the US is “a republic, if you can keep it,” the now-former candidate said that those words “were never more relevant in America than they are right now.

“Last time they were this relevant was the Civil War, which of course we know was caused by slavery,” Christie added to more polite laughter.

Despite doing everything short of declaring himself a New Hampshire resident, the RealClearPolitics average of Granite State polls showed Christie in a distant third place at 12% support behind Trump (43%) and Haley (29.3%).

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“President Trump has already vanquished 8 challengers before a single vote has been cast because Republican voters want a strong leader who will reboot our economy, secure our border, make America energy independent again, and keep our families safe,” said Karoline Leavitt, a spokeswoman for the pro-Trump Make America Great Again Inc. super PAC, in response to Christie’s announcement.

Trump himself also reacted on Truth Social, posting: “I hear Chris Christie is dropping out of the race today — I might even get to like him again!”

Christie had resisted pressure to drop out of the race in recent days as polls showed Haley, 51, picking up support both in New Hampshire and nationwide as the GOP alternative to Trump, 77.

“Why do we think she’d beat him? She’s not trying to beat him,” Christie said Tuesday during a town hall in Rochester, NH. “Let’s say I dropped out of the race right now and I supported Nikki Haley.

“And then three months from now, four months from now, when you’re ready to go to the convention, she comes out as his vice president. What will I look like? What will all the people who supported her at my behest look like?”

With Christie now out of the race — and with the backing of popular New Hampshire GOP Gov. Chris Sununu behind Haley — the former US ambassador to the United Nations appears poised to pick up more support ahead of the Jan. 23 first-in-the-nation primary.

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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.

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