Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) says he is not sure how Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) would perform in a presidential contest if he joins the race, saying that “none of us really know who he is” on the national stage.
Christie said in an interview with the conservative outlet The Dispatch published Wednesday that DeSantis has done a “good job” as governor, but he does not know how DeSantis would perform in a Republican primary.
DeSantis has not publicly confirmed whether he is considering a run for president in 2024, but he has been the subject of rumors about a possible candidacy and consistently places second or better in hypothetical GOP primary polls.
Christie, who was a candidate for the Republican nomination in 2016, has said he is considering his own run for president in 2024.
Former President Trump, who in November became the first candidate to officially enter the 2024 race, and DeSantis have been seen as the front-runners in the polls, while other possible candidates have mostly received single-digit support.
“I’m sure as heck not going to worry about what Ron DeSantis is going to do or not do, because none of us really know who he is outside of Tallahassee, Florida,” Christie said.
He said running for president is “very different” than serving as governor, and he would be interested to watch DeSantis’s candidacy and potentially compete with him if the Florida governor chooses to run.
“None of us really know what he’ll be like on a national stage,” Christie said.
He added that he is not “the least bit” afraid of Trump and will decide if he will run again for president in the next three months.
“If I get in, I get in because I want to win,” he said. “I’m going to be a truth-teller in this race. I think that the American people are hungry for the truth, and they don’t even know what it is anymore.”
Trump and former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley are the only two major Republicans who have officially announced presidential bids for 2024. Many other possible candidates, including former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), have indicated that they are also considering runs.