Chris Christie won’t oppose Donald Trump in 2020, but he hasn’t ruled out a run for the presidency in 2024, he told a Las Vegas audience today.
“I would never preclude running for prez again, but that’s 2024,” Christie said during an appearance at the annual SALT Conference, a gathering of experts in business, the economy and public policy. “I am not running in 2020. No, no, no.”
Christie, the former governor of New Jersey, was part of the crowded field that Trump defeated in 2016 for the Republican nomination.
Speaking alongside former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Christie said he also would consider joining the Trump administration if the right opportunity came along. He declined to specify what position he would consider but said he had turned down offers to serve as chief of staff and Department of Labor secretary.
Sessions said he hadn’t ruled out another run at public office, suggesting he might try to return to the Senate. The Alabaman had been in the Senate for 20 years when he gave up his seat to serve in the Trump administration.
During a session moderated by MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle, both men said they did not believe the conflict between the administration and congressional Democrats amounted to a constitutional crisis but would likely be sorted out by the courts.
Both also defended the Trump administration on a number of fronts.
For example, Christie gave a layered answer when asked by Ruhle whether Trump was lying in characterizing the investigation into Russian election interference and the Trump campaign as a “political hoax,” given its various findings — including evidence that Trump attempted to block his team from participating and that the campaign was interested in working with Russia to obtain damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
“He is a salesman who uses hyperbole to try to convince people of his opinion,” Christie said.
“Sir, those are lies,” Ruhle said, cutting in.
“That’s his opinion, and an opinion can’t be a lie,” Christie said.
The event is being held at the Bellagio. For more information, visit salt.org.