Ryan Mills writes for National Review Online about the latest entry in the 2024 Republican presidential race.

Taking aim at Donald Trump as a “lonely, self-consumed, self-serving mirror-hog,” former New Jersey governor Chris Christie launched a long-shot campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday night, declaring that “character matters.”

Speaking in front of a large American flag, Christie, 60, made the announcement during a town hall at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire. He promised “some straight talk from New Jersey.”

He argued that our recent presidents — Barack Obama, Trump, and now Joe Biden — have all made the country “smaller in every way” by dividing Americans into smaller and smaller groups. “This is a Right and a Left problem,” Christie said.

Pointing to the leadership of the Founding Fathers, Abraham Lincoln, and 20th-century presidents — Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan — Christie said America has a long history of going big. “All throughout our history there have been moments when we had to choose between big and small,” he said. “I would tell you, the reason I’m here tonight is because this is one of those moments.”

Unlike other Republican candidates, Christie was clear that his sights are aimed at Trump. “A lonely, self-consumed, self-serving mirror-hog is not a leader,” Christie said.

“Let me be clear, in case I have not been already, the person I am talking about who is obsessed with the mirror, who never admits a mistake, who never admits a fault, and who always finds someone else and something else to blame for whatever goes wrong, but finds every reason to take credit for anything that goes right, is Donald Trump,” Christie said.

While other Republican candidates have tiptoed around calling out the former president, who is dominating national polls, Christie said it is critical to address Trump.