The presidential campaign: Chris Christie

  • Candidate Chris Christie arrives at the CNN Republican Presidential Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. 
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie waiting backstage before speaking at the Freedom Summit, Jan. 24, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa.
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie greets supporters during an event announcing that he will seek the Republican nomination for president, June 30, 2015, at Livingston High School in Livingston, N.J.
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during an event announcing that he will seek the Republican nomination for president, June 30, 2015, at Livingston High School in Livingston, N.J.
  • Chris Christie attends the Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, N.H.
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at the RedState Gathering in Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 7, 2015.
  • Supporters of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are pictured during an event announcing that he will seek the Republican nomination for president, June 30, 2015, at Livingston High School in Livingston, N.J.
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie shakes the hands of supporters during an event announcing that he will seek the Republican nomination for president, June 30, 2015, at Livingston High School in Livingston, N.J.
  • Chris Christie appears on-screen at the Republican Presidential debate in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.

of

Updated

This has been a bumpy campaign season for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who many critics initially wrote off as a serious presidential contender in the aftermath of the 2013 scandal known as “Bridgegate.”

While he’s still polling in the single digits nationally, the tough-talking governor’s campaign has slowly been picking up momentum — at least in the early voting state of New Hampshire, where Christie has spent the bulk of his time and energy. 

In the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, Christie has been pitching himself as the national security candidate in a crowded Republican presidential field. He frequently points to his experiences dealing with terrorism cases as a U.S. attorney following  9/11, oftentimes saying that “acts of terrorism are not theoretical to me.”

Christie rounded off the year on a strong note, especially after he didn’t make it onto the main stage of the fourth GOP primary debate in November due to low polling numbers. His approval ratings, however, improved, and he made it back to the headline debate in December — capping off a good few weeks that included his remarks on drug addiction going viral and an influential endorsement from the conservative-leaning Union Leader newspaper.

Christie, of course, still faces a number of hurdles. He has yet to break into the top-tier of candidates, and while New Hampshire is conceivably a friendly state for the northeastern GOPer, other early voting states – like Iowa and South Carolina – are not. His Republican rivals have also gone after him on a slew of issues, including “Bridgegate” and New Jersey’s financial woes, which included nine bond rating downgrades under the governor’s watch.

These photographs were shot on assignment by photographer Mark Peterson for MSNBC Photography as part of his on-going body of work “Political Theater” which examines the landscape of the American political system.

Speak Out