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christie urges unity

Chris Christie is starting a new institute focused on 'civilized conversations'

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is apparently turning his focus to civility.

Christie is launching a new non-profit institute called the Christie Institute of Public Policy with the goal of bringing civility to modern politics, NJ Advance Media reports, with Christie telling the outlet that "unfortunately our politics have gotten so ugly and divisive in the country that people are not having civilized conversations." This institute is to include a series of lectures, the first of which will be with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).

The former New Jersey governor might seem like an odd carrier of that message to some, with his tenure having been characterized by combative exchanges like when he famously scolded a protester by shouting, "sit down and shut up!" Still, Christie argued to NJ Advance Media that the institute is just a logical extension of his record of working across the aisle with Democrats, including Cuomo. "That's what my governorship was really about," he said.

Christie went on to criticize "a lot of Democrat friends who are using a lot of language that is very hot." He definitively stated "no" when asked if this could serve as a springboard into another presidential campaign, although he has previously teased the possibility of running in 2024, asking in February, "Why not?" If he does wind up in another potentially brutal Republican primary, we'll see how long this newfound love of civility lasts.