January 15, 2024
No Labels—the political organization seeking to put together a bipartisan, third-party presidential ticket in 2024—has actively engaged with allies of Chris Christie about his potential interest in joining the group’s ticket, reports NBC News.
On Wednesday, January 10—just days before the Iowa caucuses—the former New Jersey governor made the stunning announcement that he would exit the race for the Republican presidential nomination despite having defiantly resisted suggestions to drop out.
Now, NBC News has learned that No Labels has made overtures to Christie through donors and allies, according to three sources familiar with the conversations. It is not clear if Christie has authorized any conversations to take place on his behalf.
These conversations all happened before Christie dropped out Wednesday, and some of them occurred in recent weeks, according to one of the sources.
Several Christie allies and donors who spoke to NBC News said they are skeptical that he would be interested in any offer to run as a third-party candidate.
“Neither the governor nor anyone on the campaign has had conversations with No Labels,” Christie campaign manager Maria Comella said after he announced the suspension of his campaign. Asked if Christie would entertain the idea, Comella said she had not talked about it with him but added that Christie was clear in his speech that he was “not going away.”
A spokesperson for No Labels told NBC News that it is not speculating on potential candidates for the ticket and, instead, continues to focus on meeting the signature threshold requirements for ballot access in states across the country for that would-be ticket.
“We’re focused on ballot work, and we won’t be providing commentary on the respective candidates or primary results,” Maryanne Martini, the spokesperson for No Labels, said.
A source familiar with the engagement noted that Christie has widespread name recognition, a track record and has shown a willingness to take on former President Donald Trump.
“[No Labels will] have to have somebody who is not afraid to kick a little a–,” the person said.
Research contact: @NBCNews