Chris Christie pushes back on calls to drop out of the race, takes aim at Trump in first major ad blitz

Chris Christie is pushing back against calls from fellow Republicans for the former two-term New Jersey governor to drop out of the GOP presidential nomination race in the first major ad blitz of his 2024 bid.

“Some people say I should drop out of this race. Really? I’m the only one saying Donald Trump is a liar,” Christie said while speaking directly to the camera in a spot launching on TV and digital on Thursday.

Christie’s campaign said the commercial is the first spot in what they tout as a seven-figure ad buy in New Hampshire, the state that holds the first primary and second overall contest after Iowa’s caucuses in the GOP presidential nominating calendar.

As Christie runs a second time for national office, he faces a steep uphill climb against former President Donald Trump, who is the commanding front-runner in the race as he makes his third straight White House bid. Similar to the 2016 cycle, Christie is once again concentrating his time and resources in New Hampshire, where independent voters and moderates have long played a crucial role in the state’s famed primary.

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Christie’s been running a frugal campaign since declaring his candidacy in June – with ads in support of him coming from an aligned super PAC titled Tell It Like It Is – but he has switched into a higher gear in recent weeks, increasing the number of events he’s hosting with Granite State voters.

The former governor ran his first TV spot of his campaign earlier this month, which was backed by six-figures. Now, he’s upping the ante by shelling out at least $1 million for commercials.

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A Trump ally turned vocal GOP critic, Christie is now taking aim at the former president in his new commercial.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally on Dec. 16 in Durham, New Hampshire. (Reba Saldanha/AP)

Christie charges in his new ad that Trump “pits Americans against each other,” adding that the former president’s Christmas message to anyone who disagrees with him was “rot in he**.”

When referring to the Jan. 6, 2021, deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters that temporarily disrupted congressional certification of President Biden’s victory over the then-president in the 2020 election, Christie said: “he caused a riot on Capitol Hill. He’ll burn America to the ground to help himself. Every Republican leader says that in private. I’m the only one saying it in public.”

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“What kind of President do we want? A liar or someone who has the guts to tell the truth?” Christie asked in the ad. “New Hampshire. It’s up to you. I’m Chris Christie and you bet I approve this message.” 

Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie says 'it’s disappointing' he didn't get New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu's endorsement but 'it doesn’t change my strategy here one bit'

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie headlines a town hall in Londonderry, New Hampshire, on Dec. 13. (Paul Steinhauser)

Christie’s in third place in many of the most recent polls in New Hampshire, far behind Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who later served as ambassador to the United Nations in the Trump administration.

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Haley, who has been rising in the polls the past couple of months, enjoyed a surge in the surveys in recent weeks after she landed the endorsement of popular Republican Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire. That sparked calls from some Republican insiders and voters for Christie to end his White House bid in order for the anti-Trump vote to consolidate around Haley.

Christie has repeatedly pushed back against the calls by saying he’s the only Trump rival in the race who’s directly taking on the former president. He told Fox News Digital earlier this month that he’s “not going anywhere, so let’s be really clear about that.”

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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