Christie says he won't defer to Trump in 2024

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris ChristieChris ChristieFormer lieutenant governor of New Jersey leaves GOP Half of states now restrict conversion therapy for LGBTQ kids Seeking red gains in blue Jersey MORE (R) said in a new interview that he will not wait to see if former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Arkansas governor says it's 'disappointing' vaccinations have become 'political' Watch live: Trump attends rally in Phoenix MORE launches a bid for the White House in 2024 before making his own plans for the next election.

Christie, during an appearance on the “Ruthless” podcast, said he is “not going to defer to anyone” if he decides to run for president in 2024.

“And I'm also not going to be one of these people who's going to say, ‘Well, I'll wait to see what President Trump's going to do.’ You know, I'm not going to defer to anyone if I decide that it's what I want to do and that I think I'm the best option for the party and for the country,” Christie said.

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The former governor said deferring to someone during an election shows “weakness and indecision.” He also took a swipe at President BidenJoe BidenTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Republicans focus tax hike opposition on capital gains change Biden on hecklers: 'This is not a Trump rally. Let 'em holler' MORE, saying “we’ve already got that in the White House.”

When asked if he is considering launching a second run for president in 2024, after his failed bid for the Republican nomination in 2016, Christie said he "certainly won’t preclude it,” adding that his decision will come after 2022.

Christie said he wants to try to lead the Republican Party in a “productive and smart way” and steer away from recklessness.

“What I want to do is to try to lead the party in a productive and smart way for us to continue to argue for populist-type policies, but not to be reckless, not to be reckless with our policies, not to be reckless with our language, to be smart about it,” Christie said.

Christie said this element of “recklessness” influenced the last four years. The former governor said it cost the GOP suburban voters, which led to the party’s defeat in the 2020 election.

Christie has been a rumored 2024 presidential candidate for months now, dropping hints that he may throw his hat in the ring again, with or without Trump in the race.

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In February 2019, Christie signaled that he was open to a bid for the White House in 2024.

“Yeah, listen, why not? I’m 56 years old, so you have to see,” he said in an interview at the time, adding that he "certainly would consider it.”

The former governor doubled down on those comments in December 2020, saying he would “not rule it out” when asked if he would rule out a presidential run against Trump in 2024.

Christie was previously a Trump ally who helped the then-president prepare for his 2020 presidential debates against Biden, before contracting COVID-19.

Christie tested positive after attending debate preparation sessions at the White House.

After the incident, the former governor’s rhetoric toward Trump became critical, calling out the administration’s handling of the pandemic and concluding that Trump’s actions were an “impeachable offense” following the Jan. 6 attack by the former president's supporters on the Capitol.