Mar 21, 2024 - Politics & Policy

"I wouldn't preclude anything": Chris Christie doesn't rule out No Labels bid

Former Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) appears on "Meet the Press" in Washington D.C., Sunday February 11, 2024

Former Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) on "Meet the Press" on Feb. 11. Photo: William B. Plowman/NBC via Getty Images

Former New Jersey Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie did not rule out running with the centrist political group No Labels during a podcast with David Axelrod that aired Thursday.

Why it matters: Christie, who made preventing a second Trump administration central to his long-shot bid, could attract some anti-Trump Republicans if he were to run on a No Labels ticket in November.

  • Democrats have feared that a third-party ticket could play a spoiler role to President Biden in what's likely to be a close rematch with Trump in November.

Driving the news: "You know, I think the way I would look at it is, I will do whatever I can to try to make sure that the country doesn't go through what I think will be the misery of a second Trump term," Christie said on "The Axe Files" podcast.

  • "There's a lot between actually running yourself and nothing," he added.
  • "But I wouldn't preclude anything at this point. I would just say that there are a number of hurdles to get over before I would actually consider running as a third-party."

The big picture: Christie, who called the No Labels effort a "fool's errand" before he launched his presidential bid, has signaled more openness to the group since he suspended his campaign.

  • "Oh, I don't know. There'd be a long conversation between me and [my wife] Mary Pat, I can guarantee you that," Christie said on "Good Morning America" last month, when asked if he would consider running with No Labels.

Reality check: Christie's campaign struggled to gain traction. He averaged in the low single-digits in national primary polls and about 12% in New Hampshire state polls, where he staked much of his presidential ambitions.

State of play: A number of high-profile moderate lawmakers have turned down running on the No Labels unity ticket in recent weeks, but the group is moving ahead with its plans.

  • Former Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, who had surfaced as a possible candidate to lead the No Labels ticket, withdrew his name from consideration for the group earlier this week.
  • Other high-profile lawmakers, including former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), have also ruled out running with No Labels.

What to watch: No Labels co-chair Joe Lieberman told CNN last week that the group could announce its ticket by the beginning of spring.

Go deeper: Christie ad says he made a "mistake" endorsing Trump in 2016

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