The centrist No Labels political party expressed interest in tapping Chris Christie to run on its third-party presidential ticket, a day after the former New Jersey governor ended his 2024 campaign for the Republican nomination.
“I’d like to reach out to him and see if he, Gov. Christie, is at all interested in being on a bipartisan No Labels Unity ticket this year,” former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, the founding No Labels chairman, told SiriusXM radio host Michael Smerconish Thursday.
“He could be a very strong candidate,” Lieberman added, noting that an “informal recruitment” of potential candidates for the party’s 2024 ticket is underway.
Christie, 61, suspended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday.
The former governor tried to cast himself as the best choice to take on former President Donald Trump, calling him unfit for office, admitting he had made a mistake by backing Trump in 2016 and repeatedly slamming other GOP candidates for their reluctance to criticize the 77-year-old GOP frontrunner.
In recent weeks, No Labels has reached out to Christie’s donors and allies, to gauge the Garden Stater’s interest in joining its bipartisan “2024 Unity Ticket,” according to NBC News.
The overtures were made before Christie’s unexpected decision to drop out of the GOP race, the outlet notes, and his backers were skeptical that he would have interest in a third-party run.
“Neither the governor nor anyone on the campaign has had conversations with No Labels,” Christie campaign manager Maria Comella told NBC News.
She added that Christie was clear in his suspension speech that he was “not going away.”
In preparation for a possible third-party candidacy, No Labels has been working to get ballot access across the county.
The group is currently on the ballot in 13 states — Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota and Utah — and is pursuing access in 14 others.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and former Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan have also been floated as potential standard-bearers for the centrist party.