Supporters of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have launched a new super PAC called America Leads, another sign the tough-talking Republican is planning to forge ahead with a presidential run in 2016 despite his faltering support.
America Leads, which launched Thursday, will be headed by former Republican Governor’s Association director Phil Cox. Cox helped lead the RGA when Christie served as chair during the 2014 election cycle.
“I believe Gov. Christie is exactly the kind of strong leader we need at this critical point in our nation’s history. He’s provided effective, conservative leadership in a deep blue state, bringing people together to solve difficult problems and get results,” Cox said in a statement. “That’s exactly the kind of leadership we need in America today, and we hope he decides to run.”
Paige Hahn, another former RGA staffer, will serve as the Super PAC’s finance director. In their four years at the RGA, the two helped to raise more than $250 million and elect 31 Republican governors, the most in nearly two decades.
Super PACs can raise unlimited funds for candidates but are not permitted to coordinate with their campaigns. They have become essential for any candidate hoping to mount a serious campaign for the White House.
Christie will have an uphill battle if he decides to run. The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows 57 percent of Republicans say they could not support him.
NBC's Andrew Rafferty contributed to this report.