New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Tuesday launched his 2016 campaign for president, promising to “tell voters the truth even if it makes them cringe”, reports The Associated Press (AP).
"You're going to get what I think whether you like it or not, or whether it makes you cringe every once in a while or not," Christie declared, according to the report, adding, "I am now ready to fight for the people of the United States of America."
He went on to a town hall meeting in Sandown, New Hampshire, receiving enthusiastic applause from the standing-room crowd as he arrived with his family.
"I want to be the next president of the United States and I intend to win this election," he told the meeting, according to AP.
Christie has already held nearly a dozen town halls in New Hampshire, a state key to his hopes, and plans more as he spends the next week in the state.
Four years ago, some of Christie's backers tried to persuade him to challenge President Barack Obama. In the years since, he won re-election with ease, but also struggled to revive New Jersey's moribund economy and fought with the state's Democratic-controlled legislature over pensions and the state budget, noted AP.
"We need this country to work together again, not against each other," he said on Tuesday, promising to lead a White House that would "welcome the American people no matter what party, no matter what race or creed or color."
He also jabbed what he called Obama's "weak and feckless foreign policy" and called Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton the president's "second mate."
Christie, who is a supporter of Israel, visited the Jewish state in 2012 for a four-day trip intended to “strengthen New Jersey’s economic and diplomatic relationships with foreign nations.”