Background on the candidate’s statements, positions, and record on diplomacy, global development, and U.S. international affairs programs.

A two-term governor of New Jersey and a former federal prosecutor, Governor Chris Christie has long been a proponent of American global leadership, stating that “I believe America is a leader around the world and that the world is great when America leads, and America can only be great when we lead.”

In a world with growing crises, he has said “we need a strong America that will protect the interests of the American people and strong nation-states around the world that will assure world stability.”

At a 2023 town hall in New Hampshire, he has spoken out on the importance of America’s alliances, stating that America’s “friendships and alliances all over the world” are what “makes America first.” Christie has also called United States is “the strongest moral power for what is good and what is right in the world.”

On U.S. global leadership:

  • Governor Christie has affirmed his imperative for U.S. leadership in the world, stating that “we have never ignored the crises in the world around us” adding that “throughout history, leaders in both parties have based our foreign policy on these principles – strength, leadership and partnership – with the people and nations who share our values.”
  • He has stated that “Our allies around the world want American leadership. They need American leadership. We need to work with them and then lead, because that’s what a great nation does.” He has praised American values as the core of global leadership, saying America should “be a beacon of hope for the world to aspire to for their future generations.”
  • The governor has consistently spoken out against isolationism, saying, “We can’t pull up the drawbridge that connects America to the rest of the world. That simply doesn’t work.” He has added that no “no significant group of Americans” wants a “return to isolationism and the protectionism of the 1930s.”
  • At the third Republican primary debate in November, Christie said, “Tonight, we need to decide which president is gonna be the one to tackle the big issues. Who’s going to make this country look once again, not just inward, but look outward at the world and say America is the country, the indispensable nation that makes this a safer world.”
  • At the same debate, Christie emphasized the need for democratic nations to stand up to authoritarianism, saying, “People who believe in democracy work together; we must stand with all of those that are standing up for democracy and freedom in this world.”

On diplomacy and global development:

  • Governor Christie has highlighted the importance of adequately funding the State Department, saying that the U.S. must “be prepared lead” and that “this takes resources” including those for diplomacy.
  • He advocates for using all of America’s foreign policy tools, asking, “Will America stand up and fight the fights that need to be fought? And I don’t mean just militarily. I mean diplomatically and economically.”

On global health:

  • Governor Christie has been strongly supportive of U.S. global health efforts in Africa, saying, “First thing I would do in Africa is deal with the disease which underlies all the different problems that they have there, so to continue to expand the PEPFAR program to work on AIDS and also the Malaria program to get these people healthy first.” He added that “then we can start to help with rebuilding their countries and helping give them opportunities to have their countries to be modernized, that modernization will then lead to relief in poverty.”

On the global competition with China:

  • Christie has noted the challenges to balancing the U.S. relationship with China, noting both the benefits and the risks. He has stated that “for the last 50 years, we have been investing in China to try to bring them into the community of nations and to try to make them better.” He notes that this has resulted in a “large volume” of “trade with China over a long period of time.”
  • On the risks, he has said that the “the Chinese have taken advantage of our good nature, stealing our intellectual property, spying on us, causing trouble around the world, unfair trade deals. And it’s time for that to stop now. They’re no longer a fledgling economy. They’re the second largest economy in the world and inching up on us.”
  • He often links his views on America’s role in the world and China to the world we are building for America’s children, asking “are they going to live in a world where China is setting the tone for this world, a communist dictatorship… I want a free world being led by America.”
  • Speaking about China’s influence on global threats at the second Republican primary debate, Christie said “They’re all connected. The Chinese are paying for the Russian war in Ukraine. The Iranians are supplying more sophisticated weapons, and so are the North Koreans now as well, with the encouragement of the Chinese.”

On the war in Ukraine:

  • Governor Christie has long been outspoken on the threat from Russia stating in 2015 that “over the next 10 years… Russia is a greater threat.” He added back in 2015, that the U.S. “should be having a serious conversation” with Ukraine “about their need for additional weaponry from the United States.”
  • He has called the current war in Ukraine “a proxy war with China” adding that “the Chinese are supplying the Russians with money by buying their oil” and that “the Chinese are providing drones to the Iranians, and the Iranians are using those drones to kill soldiers in Ukraine.”
  • He has stated that U.S. assistance to Ukraine is “an investment to make sure that we don’t have to spend more treasure and more lives later because we gave the Chinese and the Russians the impression that we were pulling back from the rest of the world.”
  • In a national town hall, Governor Christie called out the risks of not supporting Ukraine, stating that the alternative is for the Chinese to take over, the Russians, the Iranians, and the North Koreans… I don’t want that foursome to be running your kids’ lives.

On global economic engagement:

  • Christie is a strong proponent of America’s global economic engagement. As Governor, he led trade missions to Israel, Jordan, Mexico, Canada, and the United Kingdom to promote opportunities for investment in New Jersey, saying “our economy is dependent on what we export and import.”

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition hosted Governor Christie at our 2018 State Leaders Summit in Washington D.C.