Finishing sixth in New Hampshire and netting zero delegates was apparently enough of a sign for Chris Christie, who reports say is dropping out of the Republican race for the White House.
According to Time, two people close to the Christie campaign confirmed the New Jersey governor’s exit.
His fall from grace is a far cry from his situation 2013, when he won reelection in the Garden State and made powerful friends in the GOP. But even before launching his presidential campaign, Christie was set back by a scandal that was dubbed “Bridgegate” by the New York and New Jersey news media. It involved Christie allies, enemies, political retaliation, and a power play to control access to the busy George Washington Bridge connecting the two states.
Christie made headlines when he went off script and bare-knuckled his way through debates, such as last week when he relentlessly attacked Sen. Marco Rubio.
Despite his unpredictable bluster and brash style, Christie scared off conservative Republicans with a moderate approach to some social issues, which he tried to contrast by repeatedly opposing a bill that would allow transgender citizens to change the gender on their birth certificates.
Throughout his two terms as governor of New Jersey, Christie often used his own "decision-making and authority" to veto legislation that could support LGBT residents of the Garden State.
Christie was the only declared Republican candidate who vetoed a marriage equality bill. In fact, Christie shares that distinction with just two other state leaders: former Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, who vetoed equal marriage legislation in 2009, and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who vetoed marriage equality in 2005 and 2007. All three governors are Republicans.
It was 2012 when Christie vetoed bipartisan marriage equality legislation, resulting in a year-and-a-half delay before New Jersey's same-sex couples could legally marry. And even then, marriage equality only arrived in New Jersey after Christie's administration grudgingly stopped defending the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, after the state Supreme Court refused to put a stay on a lower court's pro-equality ruling.
In the run-up to his reelection in 2013, Christie said he would oppose marriage equality even if his own child came out as LGBT.
However, Christie did sign a bill in August 2013 that made New Jersey the second U.S. state to outlaw the use of so-called conversion therapy on minors.
Christie's reported withdrawal leaves Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Ben Carson, and Jim Gilmore vying for the nomination. Carly Fiorina also is reportedly suspending her campaign.