Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey and an aspiring Republican presidential candidate for 2024, has officially qualified for the first GOP primary debate next month. This news arrives despite Christie’s status as a long shot in the political race.
During a recent discussion with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Christie confirmed his debate-stage qualification, explaining that his campaign surpassed the necessary criteria. To secure a spot on the debate stage, a candidate must gather one percent support in at least two national polls and accumulate a minimum of 40,000 unique donors. Additionally, candidates must have a minimum of 200 individual donors across at least 20 states.
Christie triumphantly announced, “We went past 40,000 unique donors in just 35 days…We have over 40,000 donors now.” Comparing his current campaign to his previous one in 2016, he added, “In 35 days, eight years ago, we had 5,000 donors.”
Moreover, Christie noted, “There is a donor in every state in America, and we have over 200 donors in 36 states.” Such widespread support, according to the candidate, indicates the strength of his campaign.
However, the conversation took a critical turn when Cooper brought up the debate stage requirement of pledging support for the eventual Republican nominee. Disagreeing with this condition, Christie deemed it a “dumb idea,” stating that he had expressed his disapproval to the Republican National Committee.
Echoing his previous commitment to his own principles rather than blind party loyalty, Christie maintained, “I’ll take the pledge in 2024 just as seriously as Donald Trump took it in 2016.”
Currently, Christie’s campaign holds a modest 2.6 percent support, as reflected in the Real Clear Politics average. However, the underdog candidate views this achievement as a stepping stone toward the first Republican primary debate set to occur in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Aug. 23.
Christie’s journey reminds us of the diversity within the GOP’s potential presidential candidates and underscores the necessity for debate in shaping the party’s future direction.