Chris Christie vs. the Trump family: now targeting Ivanka and Jared Kushner

The former governor accused them of a $2 billion investment scam involving a Saudi-backed fund.

Chris Christie joined the Republican primary for president on Tuesday. The former New Jersey governor entered with a combative approach, specifically against Donald Trump, whom he called "selfish" and even compared him to "Voldemort." He didn't stop there. He even took aim at Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Christie said this during a New Hampshire town hall, which was seen as his first campaign event.

"I can't guarantee you success, but I can guarantee that in the end you will be left in no doubt about who I am and what I stand for and whether I deserve it. That's why I've come back to Saint Anselm's, and that's why I've come back to Manchester, and that's why I've come back to New Hampshire to tell all of you that I intend to seek the Republican nomination for President of the United States in 2024," he said to the cheers of his supporters.

The now candidate did not take long to paint himself as the anti-Trump candidate. He repeatedly attacked the former president. He also took aim at his family, specifically Ivanka Trump and Kushner, whom he accused of being fraudsters.

"The grift from this family is breathtaking. It’s breathtaking. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Kushner walk out of the White House, and months later get $2 billion from the Saudis," he said, referring to the investment made in 2021 by the Saudi-backed Public Investment Fund (PIF) in the investment firm of Kushner-A Fin Management LLC (Affinity).

"You think it’s because he’s some kind of investing genius? Or do you think it’s because he was sitting next to the president of the United States for four years doing favors for the Saudis?" he added.

For Christie, this type of situation weakens the United States' image in to the world. "That’s your money. That’s your money he stole and gave it to his family. You know what that makes us? A banana republic," he concluded.

Christie emerges as the anti-Trump candidate

Despite being the first former candidate to support Trump in 2016, he is now emerging as one of the most critical of the former president, from whom he distanced himself after the Capitol riots of Jan. 6, 2021. He will seek to appeal to more traditional Republicans and conservatives and move the Republican Party away from Trump.

Christie blames Trump for Republican defeats in 2018, 2020 and 2022 and argues that the party will lose again if he is the nominee in 2024. He also had sharp words for Ron DeSantis, whose foreign policy ideas he does not seem to like.

A 60-year-old lawyer, Christie managed to turn a blue state red twice, in 2009 and 2013. In this second election, he exceeded 60% of the vote and became the first to do so since 1985. This will be his second attempt to get into the White House after in 2016, when he torched Sen. Marco Rubio and then dropped out of the race after the New Hampshire primary.

The former New Jersey governor entered an increasingly crowded field of Republican candidates, made up of Trump, DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, Asa Hutchinson, Larry Elder, Tim Scott, Ryan Binkley, Perry Johnson and Mike Pence, who recently released his campaign launch video.