Washington (CNN) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who denies any interest in a presidential run at every turn, has turned down the coveted nationwide opportunity to deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union, a source close to Christie confirmed to CNN.
The source said Christie was offered the chance to give the Republican response following President Obama's address, but declined the invitation. Scheduling difficulties were part of the reason, but the source said "we would have made it work if he had wanted to do it."
The inquiry on his interest from the Congressional GOP leadership was first reported in the Newark Star-Ledger. Christie thought he was better served focusing on legislative matters, including budget and pension reform efforts underway, the source told CNN.
'The conventional wisdom is whoever does deliver it is on an elevated platform. In the end, the Governor is focused on what he's working in here in New Jersey", he said.
House Speaker John Boehner's spokesman Michael Steel declined to comment on whether GOP leaders reached out to Christie, telling CNN only "The Republican address will be given by Budget chairman Paul Ryan and he'll do a terrific job."