DES MOINES, Iowa – No Labels, a political organization seeking to put together a bipartisan, third-party presidential ticket in 2024, is actively engaging with its allies. Chris Christie about his potential interest in joining the group’s ticket.
On Wednesday, just days before the Iowa caucuses, the former New Jersey governor did just that amazing announcement He announced that he will drop out of the race, despite bravely resisting Republicans’ bids to drop out of the race for the presidential nomination.
Now NBC News has learned that No Labels, an organization trying to build a bipartisan coalition of politicians in Washington, has made offers to Christie through donors and allies, three sources familiar with the conversations said. It is unclear whether Christie authorized any conversations to be conducted on her behalf.
All of those conversations took place before Christie left school on Wednesday, and some of them took place in recent weeks, according to one of the familiar sources.
Several Christie allies and donors who spoke to NBC News said they were skeptical he would be interested in running as a third-party candidate.
“Neither the governor nor anyone in the campaign has talked to No Labels,” Christie campaign manager Maria Comella said after her campaign announced the suspension. When asked if Christie was receptive to the idea, Comella said he had not spoken to him about it, but added that Christie made it clear in his speech that he “wouldn’t be let go.”
A spokesperson for No Labels told NBC News that it is not speculating about potential candidates for the ticket and is instead continuing to meet signature threshold requirements to get the ticket on the ballot in states across the country.
Maryanne Martini, a spokeswoman for No Labels, said: “We are focused on the ballot and will not be commenting on the respective candidates or preliminary results.”
A source familiar with the engagement noted that Christie has widespread name recognition, experience and is ready to take on former President Donald Trump.
“[No Labels will] Gotta be someone who’s not afraid to kick some ass –” the insider said.
Speaking at an event in New Hampshire on Wednesday, Christie vowed: “I will make sure that under no circumstances will I allow Donald Trump to become president of the United States again. This is more important to me than personal ambition.”
“It’s not easy to stand up and fight for what we believe in when the wind blows in our face. It’s not easy to stand up and fight the loudest voice in the room,” Christie continued during her speech. “But if we want to stay in concert with that spirit, we have to do it in the next 10 months. country.”
Last July, shortly after Christie officially launched his GOP presidential campaign, he eventually dismissed the idea of joining a hypothetical No Labels ticket, calling it a “stupid job.”
“They want to hurt Donald Trump if he’s a candidate,” Christie said. “But, you know, when a third party buys a campaign — and we saw it with Ross Perot, we saw it later with Ralph Nader — you never know who you’re going to hurt in the process.”
Those involved in those conversations wrestled with whether “pain laws” in countless states would prevent Christie from running as a viable candidate on the No Labels ticket. These laws prevent a loser of a party’s primary from running as an independent or another party’s mantle, but the effect of these state laws on one-term presidential candidates is less clear.
No Labels has not suggested it would be interested in the Republican, who leads the bipartisan ticket recently serving as both an independent and a Democrat running for vice president.
A new super PAC, New Leaders 2024 PAC, launched this week to raise funds for a possible No Labels ticket.