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Christie promises blunt campaign as he enters 2016 contest

Published:Wednesday | July 1, 2015 | 7:00 AM
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks to supporters during an event announcing he will seek the Republican nomination for president yesterday.

NEW JERSEY (AP):

A tough-talking New Jersey Governor Chris Christie launched his 2016 campaign for president yesterday with a promise to tell voters the truth, even if it makes them cringe.

The Republican governor, a one-time GOP favourite who faded and now tries to climb back, lashed out at "bickering leaders" from both political parties in a kick-off rally in the gymnasium of his old high school. And in his trademark blunt style, he told voters and warned Republican rivals that he's ready to be aggressive in the 2016 contest.

"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. He added: "I am now ready to fight for the people of the United States of America."

Christie enters a Republican presidential field that already has more than a dozen GOP candidates. Not all draw as much attention as Christie, who will compete for the same slice of the electorate as pragmatic-minded White House hopefuls such as former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

But it's an accomplished line-up of governors, senators and business people. Christie's effort is largely driven by his outsized personality, and his rÈsumÈ, while notable, contains scattered landmines that have given many Republicans pause.

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.