Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is reportedly launching a comeback tour — and insists Donald Trump will have no impact on his decision as he continues to weigh a 2024 presidential bid.
The 59-year-old is giving a speech at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California Thursday night as part of a series on the future of the Republican Party, Politico reports.
The library has already hosted speeches from a number of potential GOP presidential candidates this year, including former Vice President Mike Pence.
Other would-be candidates – such as former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Tim Scott and Tom Cotton – are set to give speeches there later this year.
He told Politico that former President Donald Trump potentially running in 2024 would have no impact on his decision, and insisted his speech will not focus on him.
But he will stress the need for Republicans to be the party that tells “the American people the truth,” he told the outlet.
“The emphasis of the speech is not about Trump,” Christie said. “But … you’ll hear the speech and I think there’ll be lots that you’ll be able to take from it, conclusions you’ll be able to take from it, even about things that are not explicitly said.”
Christie’s appearance at the library comes amid rife speculation that he is considering 2024 presidential aspirations.
The former governor ran in the 2016 GOP primary before dropping out to endorse Trump. In the days after the 2020 election, Christie had publicly urged Trump to accept the results if his legal challenges did not produce any evidence of voter fraud.
“This isn’t like a bet where you go, ‘Well, let me look at my odds and based on my odds do what I should do or not do.’ To me, that’s cheapening the presidency to look at it that way,” Christie said.
“It seems to me that if you want to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate, any other position diminishes you, because you’re saying somehow you’re less ready than someone else. I don’t think that’s the way it works.”
Nikki Haley said back in April that she wouldn’t launch a White House bid if Trump chose to run.
“I would not run if President Trump ran, and I would talk to him about it. That’s something that we’ll have a conversation about, at some point, if that decision is something that has to be made,” she said at the time.
Christie said he hadn’t spoken to Trump about the 2024 presidential race, and has previously said he’ll make a decision on whether to run after the 2022 midterms.