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Hot mic moment: Nikki Haley will get ‘smoked’ in 2024 race, Christie says – Times of India

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Ex-governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, was overheard expressing his belief that Nikki Haley, the former UN ambassador, is likely to face a significant defeat in her attempt to secure the Republican presidential nomination. This remark came just moments before he announced to end his own 2024 campaign efforts.
In a private conversation, which was accidentally broadcast online and then removed, Christie was heard saying, “She’s gonna get smoked, and you and I both know it,” during a lead-up to his town hall event in Windham, New Hampshire.He expressed doubts about Haley’s capabilities in the race.
Christie also mentioned a call from Florida governor Ron DeSantis, another key contender against ex-President Donald Trump for the nomination. He described DeSantis as “petrified,” but the conversation was cut short as the microphone was turned off.
Responses from the DeSantis and Haley campaigns to Christie’s comments were not immediately available. However, DeSantis shared on X, “I agree with Christie that Nikki Haley is ‘going to get smoked.'”
Following Christie’s official withdrawal from the race, Haley, referring to him as a “friend,” acknowledged his efforts in a “hard-fought campaign.”
Despite facing four criminal indictments, Trump continues to lead in public polls, just ahead of Iowa’s first statewide nominating event on Monday.
On his social media platform, Truth Social, Trump noted Christie’s candid remark about Haley, captured on the hot mic, as “a very truthful statement.”
Haley and DeSantis are both vying to be the primary alternative to Trump. They are set to confront each other in a CNN debate in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday night.
Addressing supporters at a New Hampshire town hall, Christie said he had come to the conclusion that he had no pathway to victory.
“Campaigns are run to win. That’s why we do them,” he said. “It’s clear to me tonight that there isn’t a path for me to win the nomination.”
“My goal has never been to be just a voice against the hate and division and the selfishness of what our party has become under Donald Trump,” he added, casting his decision as part of his effort to prevent Trump’s reelection.
“I am going to make sure that in no way do I enable Donald Trump to ever be president of the United States again. And that’s more important than my own personal ambition,” he said.
Despite the high unfavorability ratings within a party still staunchly loyal to Trump, Christie’s anti-Trump stance garnered significant media coverage and spurred a surge of small-dollar contributions. This financial support enabled him to remain in the race and maintain a presence on the debate stage much longer than anticipated.
Remarkably, Christie’s campaign outperformed those of more prominent and financially robust candidates, such as former Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina. This success was partly due to his economical campaign approach. Eschewing the luxury of private jets and the employment of numerous costly consultants, Christie opted for a lean operation. His team, comprising just over a dozen dedicated staff members, allowed for a much lower daily expenditure compared to rivals like DeSantis, effectively reducing his campaign’s “burn rate.”
After withdrawing from the race, Christie did not endorse any of his rivals. He has consistently criticized Haley, DeSantis, and other Republican candidates for not confronting Trump more directly throughout the campaign.
(With inputs from agencies)





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