Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is setting himself up for a 2024 presidential run by separating himself from President Donald Trump, taking a hard stance on face masks, and denouncing his home state’s COVID crisis response.

Christie didn’t rule out a possible presidential run in 2024, saying on Fox’s “Guy Benson Show” that he’ll make that decision “whether I want to run for president or not based upon my own personal life, my own professional life.

“But most importantly, do I think I have something to contribute to the country that is unique and different than other people who are running? And if I make that decision, then absolutely, I'll run. And if I don't feel that way, then I won't,” he added.

Christie, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, has been a supporter of Trump, holding the role of chair of the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.

Christie also said it wouldn’t matter to him if Trump runs alongside him in 2024, as he told Benson that the president would have to “earn it the same way he did in 2016.”

“So nobody has a right to have that nomination," he said. “You've got to go out and earn it. You got to fight for it, make your argument for it and convince the voters.”

Christie also opened up about Trump’s refusal to concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden, saying he needs to “move on and to accept defeat.”

Trump has refused to concede the election, instead filing numerous lawsuits in key battleground states while making baseless claims of widespread voter fraud.

"I've known the president for 20 years,” Christie told Benson. “He's a guy who never acknowledges defeat..... And so I can't say I'm completely shocked that he's not acknowledging this one as to although I don't think it's justified and I think he should for the good of the country.”

Christie was also quick to denounce his Democratic replacement, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, and his response to the COVID crisis in the wake of what he called a paperwork “scandal” that caused the state’s nursing homes to miss a round of vaccines for the virus.

"The health commissioner said, well, it's a lot of paperwork,” he told Benson. “I mean, what more important could the government be doing than getting the vaccine to our seniors. Seventy-one hundred of whom have died just in the state of New Jersey.”

Christie took his stance on the coronavirus one step further by urging Americans to wear masks after he contracted the virus at the White House in October. He has recently lent his voice to an ad promoting the wearing of face masks.

"What I want people to understand …,” he told Benson, “… is for seven months I wore a mask. I washed my hands 10 or 12 times a day. You know, I stayed out of large groups, did all the things you're supposed to do, and I stayed healthy.

“And then for four days, I let my guard down when I was inside the gates of the White House thinking I was in a safe place from the virus. And what I learned was there is no safe place from the virus,” he added.

Chris Christie
Chris Christie asks where the defense of the president is from Republicans during the Michael Cohen hearing. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie participates in a discussion about his new book at the Washington POst January 31, 2019 in Washington, DC. In the book titled, 'Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics,' Christie claims that Jared Kushner was determined to push him out of President Trump’s orbit because Christie had prosecuted his father in 2004 for tax evasion, witness tampering and making illegal campaign donations. Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla