The centrist group No Labels is trying to reach out and speak with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — who this week ended his bid for the Republican presidential nomination — about a possible role in a potential third-party, bipartisan presidential ticket.
Sources in Christie’s political orbit confirmed to Fox News there has been outreach by No Labels but that the organization has not had any actual conversations with the former governor since he suspended his presidential campaign on Wednesday.
Christie campaign manager Maria Comella on Thursday said that “neither the governor nor anyone on the campaign has had conversations with No Labels.”
Former Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, the party’s 2000 vice presidential nominee and a No Labels founding co-chair, said in a radio interview after Christie ended his White House bid that Christie “could be a very strong candidate” on the group’s proposed unity ticket.”
Christie, a longtime ally turned vocal GOP critic of former President Donald Trump, in June launched a second bid for the Republican nomination.
Asked in an interview in July if he’d consider joining a possible No Labels ticket, Christie shot down the idea, saying, “I think it’s a fool’s errand.”
“I’m not in this for showtime. I’m not in this for making a point. I’m in this to get elected President of the United States, and there are only two people who will get elected President of the United States: the Republican nominee for president and the Democratic nominee for president,” Christie said at the time in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.”
Lieberman, in a Sirius XM interview with Michael Smerconish, said Thursday that when Christie made his comments last summer “he basically said it was not an effort that had any chance of succeeding, but maybe the world will look different to him now.”
“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. He could be a very strong candidate,” Lieberman added.
Lieberman called Christie “refreshingly independent” and said he “might well be” No Labels “material,” adding that “that’s the kind of candidate No Labels is looking for.”
No Labels has said it will pull the trigger on whether to launch a presidential ticket in March, following Super Tuesday, when a slew of states hold nominating contests.
Trump is the commanding front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, and plenty of political pundits argue that any third-party ticket fielded by No Labels would only benefit Trump in a likely rematch this November with President Biden.
There’s also been a chorus of calls from Democrats warning that a No Labels ticket would pave a path to victory for Trump in next year’s election.
No Labels takes issue with that criticism, and has repeatedly pushed back on such notions.
“That’s not our goal here,” Lieberman told Fox News Digital last year. “We’re not about electing either President Trump or President Biden.”
Sources in Christie’s political orbit sounded skeptical when asked about the former governor joining any No Labels ticket. And they pointed to Christie’s comments on Wednesday as he dropped out of the race.
“I want to promise you this — I am going to make sure that in no way do I enable Donald Trump to ever be President of the United States again. And that’s more important than my own personal ambitions,” Christie emphasized as he suspended his campaign.
“Even though I am suspending this campaign, I am not going away, and my voice is not going away,” he added.
Referring to Trump, Christie stressed, “I am not going to be a part of a generation who willingly stands by and says, ‘It’s too hard. He’s too loud, he’s too strong.'”
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