Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has a blunt suggestion for some of his rivals for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination that they likely don’t want to hear.
Christie says that for the candidates who “haven’t made the stage” at the upcoming first GOP presidential primary debate, “it’s time to go.”
Eight candidates say they’ve reached the polling and donor thresholds mandated by the Republican National Committee in order to qualify for the initial presidential nomination showdown on Aug. 23. They are Christie, former President Donald Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, former ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, and entrepreneur and best-selling author Vivek Ramaswamy.
DeSantis and Ramaswamy have also signed a RNC-mandated pledge to support the eventual 2024 GOP presidential nominee, which Trump has indicated he’ll refuse to sign.
Roughly a half dozen Republican White House hopefuls are still aiming to make the stage. That list includes former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former CIA spy and former Rep. Will Hurd of Texas, Mayor Francis Suarez of Miami, Florida, Michigan businessman and quality control leader Perry Johnson, and Larry Elder, a former talk radio host who was a candidate for governor in the 2021 California recall election.
Christie, in a Fox News Digital interview in New Hampshire on Wednesday, emphasized that the debate “means a lot for me and every other candidate. It’s going to be the biggest audience any of us have spoken before in a long time. It’s important for people to get to know you, to know who you are, what you want to do for the party and for the country. And that’s exactly what I intend to do in two weeks.”
But Christie, a master of in-your-face politics who’s making his second White House run after an unsuccessful bid in 2016, stressed, “If you don’t make the debate stage, you should leave the field. I think it’s that simple. That’s the first winnowing process.”
Pointing to the RNC’s polling and donor thresholds in order to qualify for the initial Fox News hosted debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Christie said, “I think these objectives were fair ones to reach, to be able to get on the stage. And if you haven’t made the stage, I think it’s time to go.”