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Christie ramps up Haley criticism as he rejects calls to exit GOP primary

Chris Christie has a message for those calling for him to exit the Republican primary and get behind Nikki Haley to help consolidate the field against Donald Trump: “I’m not going anywhere.” The former New Jersey governor is doubling down on his criticism of Haley, the former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador, as she considers a potential run for the 2024 GOP nomination. Christie argues that Haley is not a true conservative and has a history of being a political opportunist. In an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, Christie accused Haley of changing her positions to appeal to the Republican base. He pointed to her previous support for Medicaid expansion in South Carolina and her initial criticism of Trump during the 2016 campaign as examples of her political opportunism. "She was an opportunist in 2016 when she criticized Donald Trump, said she didn't think he was fit for the presidency, and now she's all in for him," Christie said. "She was an opportunist when she embraced Medicaid expansion in South Carolina and now she's opposed to it. She was an opportunist when she took down the Confederate flag in South Carolina and now she's opposed to that." Christie also criticized Haley for not taking a stronger stance against Trump's false claims of election fraud in the aftermath of the 2020 election. He argued that her refusal to condemn Trump's baseless allegations undermines her credibility as a potential presidential candidate. "She has not stood up and called out the lies, and so, to me, that's disqualifying for somebody who wants to be a leader of our country," Christie said. The former governor's comments come as some Republicans are urging him to drop out of the race and throw his support behind Haley to help consolidate the anti-Trump vote. They argue that a divided field would only benefit Trump and make it more difficult for a moderate candidate to emerge as the nominee. But Christie remains defiant, insisting that he is in the race to win and will not be swayed by calls to step aside. He believes that his record as governor and his ability to connect with voters on the campaign trail make him a strong contender for the nomination. "I'm in this race because I believe that I'm the best candidate," Christie said. "I've governed a blue state and gotten conservative things done. I've shown that I can connect with voters, and I believe that I have the experience and the record to make a real difference." While Christie's campaign has so far struggled to gain traction in a crowded field, he has not given up hope. He is banking on a strong showing in the early primary states, including Iowa and New Hampshire, to give his campaign a boost and propel him to the top of the field. "I'm not going to drop out if I don't win Iowa or New Hampshire," Christie said. "I'm in this race for the long haul, and I believe that I have a path to victory." Christie's criticism of Haley is part of a broader strategy to differentiate himself from the other candidates in the race and position himself as the true conservative choice. He has been highly critical of other Republicans, including those who voted to impeach Trump, arguing that they are not true conservatives and are out of touch with the party's base. But Christie's attacks on Haley have drawn sharp criticism from some Republicans who believe that the infighting is detrimental to the party's chances of winning back the White House. They argue that the focus should be on defeating Democrats, not tearing down fellow Republicans. "Governor Christie is entitled to express his opinions, but I think it's time for the Republican Party to focus on the future and finding a candidate who can unite the party and offer a positive vision for the country," said one Republican strategist. Despite the criticism, Christie shows no signs of backing down. He remains determined to make his case to Republican voters and believes that his message will resonate with those looking for a proven conservative leader. "I'm not going anywhere," Christie said. "I believe that I have the experience, the record, and the vision to lead our party and our country. And I'm going to fight for that every single day."

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