Christie: 'I am not there right now'
May 9th, 2011
12:37 PM ET
3 years ago

Christie: 'I am not there right now'

Washington (CNN) – With news that a group of influential Iowa Republican donors is heading to New Jersey this month to meet Governor Chris Christie and urge him to run for President, he again on Monday insisted he will not become a candidate for the 2012 nomination.

"You have to feel in your heart you want to be president more than anything else, and I am not there right now," Christie told radio talk show host Chris Sitgall Monday morning.

He said his decision is final although he did agree to meet with the half dozen or so activists May 31st.

Asked whether it was possible a draft Christie movement could be successful in getting him into the race, he said "I think the days of a draft...I think those days are gone. I think the American people now want to see you out there pursuing it, running for it, making your case."

Bruce Rastetter, an energy company executive, and other Iowa businessmen hope to change Christie's mind when they meet with him.

"We want to encourage him from an Iowa perspective and a national perspective. We need a candidate like him in the race," Rastetter told CNN in an interview. He said this is not an indication he is unhappy with the current Republican candidates or thinks they are weak.

"I think the other people are good people, good candidates. Chris Christie is someone who is...unique...and direct," Rastetter said. "We are attracted by how he governs and addresses the issues."

If Christie holds firm in his decision, Rastetter said it is still good for the governor to "meet people and establish those relationships."

Christie's chief political adviser, Mike DuHaime, told CNN one major reason the governor chose to meet with Rastetter and the other Iowa activists is because they are close to Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, for whom Christie campaigned last year. Also DuHaime said knowing "other people who will be influential" in the party will be "good for the governor" since Christie "likely will be influential in the party.'

Christie's influence could be a major influence in the GOP nomination process. Already probable candidates Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty have met with him hoping to win his support. Former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman will sit down with him in the coming days.

"I am going to continue to play a role as a leader in our party and I think appropriately so," Christie said in the radio interview. "I am happy to play that role if they think I can play an important part in a presidential campaign to help them and help us to elect a good Republican to replace President Obama in 2012 and clearly that is my goal to make sure we have a change in 2012."

He said in the radio interview he preferred the GOP nominee to be someone who has been a governor.

"When you have the responsibility to have run things and make executive decisions, I think it just trains you better to make decisions at the next level, at the federal level."

He mentioned Romney, Pawlenty and Huntsman all are former governors. Then he brought up current Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, who has said he will decide in the coming weeks whether to run for the party's nomination.

"I have enormous respect for and would give serious consideration to supporting" him, Christie said.

As to whether Christie's meeting with the Iowa donors could signal interest in running for president in the future, "We are not looking past 2012, 2013," DuHaime told CNN.

– Follow Kevin Bohn on Twitter: @KevinBohnCNN


Filed under: 2012 • Chris Christie • Iowa
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Too bad Christie wasn't governor for longer and felt ready to run for President. This country needs a guy like him in the Whitehouse. I would just love to see him run though. Obama wouldn't stand a chance. Double digit defeat guaranteed.

    May 9, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    The Day of ... you are so full of it! Christie's just another loud-mouthed Republican bully, devoid of real intellect and filled with contempt for the average American.

    And he'll never run, because the stress of it would probably literally kill him – look how overweight and unhealthy that guy is!

    May 9, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. tstorm

    Go for it, Christie! New Jersey is already on an active recall vote to get you out office! You don't stand a chance against President Obama. The Republican party has turned into a pathetic self-interest party for big business. Obama has shown he has what it takes to lead this country. Obama has my vote in 2012!

    May 9, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Gov. Christie knows he cannot run for President at this point in his fledgling political career. Unlike the majority of the country, he also knows how unpopular and capricious that his policies have been. The people of New Jersey feel misled by his campaign promises and his actions since taking office.

    He has cut infrastructure developement in the single most industrialized state in the country. His state now owes the Feds hundreds of millions to the Feds for cancelled projects: for money already spent on projects more than half completed. He reasoned that that projects were over going to go over budget, despite the fact that these same projects had had years of on time budget performance.

    He has cut Education mercilessly, as well as other public sector jobs through draconian policies, all of which were enacted to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest. He didn't reduce spending, he shifted the spending into tax cuts, and killed thousands of jobs in the process. He will not get re-elected as Governer of New Jersey.

    May 9, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. deb

    Those Republicans????? Christie looks and talks like a Mobster? Oh, "The World would be so Proud of us to "Elect Him" "Great Image"" LOL til I Cry!!!!! Wow

    May 9, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  6. Topgun2048

    You never were there. Maybe as the Pillsbury doughboy representative, you would be. MORON!

    May 9, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. Tony

    Really?

    He lost any ounce of respect that I had for him when he stayed at Disney World with his family while New Jersey had a statewide snow emergency because "...I have been planning this for awhile and promised my children".

    If he were elected President would his family's wishes still come first?

    Totally unacceptable!

    May 9, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Christie's just another loud-mouthed Republican bully, devoid of real intellect and filled with contempt for the average American.
    And he'll never run, because the stress of it would probably literally kill him – look how overweight and unhealthy that guy is!
    =============================================================================================
    WOW!! Look at this fact filled evaluation!!! Personally, I think we have a loud mothed bully in the Whitehouse now that has shown his contempt for the Constitution and the American people with Obamacare.

    And why to you hate over weight people so much? Seems like the last class of people it is "safe" to poke fun at and attack. Being a bit of a bully yourself aren't you?

    May 9, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  9. Frank

    I give Christie this much: he understands the moment he announces people will begin seriously digging beneath the surface of the persona he's crafted. He'll be expected to have serious answers to issues he probably knows nothing about right now. I'm not saying there's anything he's hiding. It's more likely people will uncover there isn't a whole lot of 'there' there and he'll emerge as just another shallow GOP loudmouth.

    May 9, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  10. S. In California - Obama 2012

    "You have to feel in your heart you want to be president more than anything else, and I am not there right now," Christie told radio talk show host Chris Sitgall Monday morning.

    No sir you sure aren't. There is probably so much fat surrounding your heart right now you are EXACTLY right when you say this. I'm glad he knows.

    May 9, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. Mike in NC

    I would put this guy up against Obummer ANY DAY! He's trying to reverse the crash course that Democarats in NJ have set up. I hope he does decide to run. He says what he means and means what he says! How refreshing.

    May 9, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  12. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    They ought to urge him to join a friggin' gym; he doesn't have a neck! :)

    May 9, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    No one wants a morbidly obese President.

    May 9, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  14. urallidiots

    We can only hope that Christie chooses to run. He'll annihilate Obama and fix the mess they have created.

    May 9, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. You guys kill me.....

    It's finally reached the point of no return for USA, and all you freakin' lib's can do is bad mouth anyone who has a (R) behind thier name......freakin' sad......
    I have eveything in life from working hard.

    May 9, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. wat wot

    "We are attracted by how he governs and addresses the issues."

    What these business leaders are really attracted to is how responsive he is to campaign donations...a lot of bang for the buck with this guy.

    May 9, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    to meet Governor Chris Christie and urge him to run for President
    -------------------------------------------------–
    Your time would be better spent urging him to LOSE WEIGHT.
    New Jersey voters, meanwhile, are urging a recall campaign in order to urge him to step down.
    Great job there Brownie.

    May 9, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    We'd need a new "Airforce 1 Jet" built for this and that cost millions, so he's a financial liability to start with.

    May 9, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  19. AZ DEM

    He is doing us and himself a favor because th GOP field in 2012 is extremely weak..lets get real people none of the people positioning to run against Obama in 2012 have a snow balls chance in hell of beating the President. 2016 however I expect to see a really strong field from both sides and Christie should definitely consider himself to be a perfect candidate then. Christie's tough talk doesnt impress me much at all its very easy to talk tough and even back it up with actions but being "tough" doesnt necessarily make a good president and he IS NOT the man I feel should be leading this nation at this time Barack Hussein Obama is doing a great job and HE has my vote.

    OBAMA 2012

    May 9, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. FM

    I agree with Christie, one has a call to serve. If that is not in your mind, you do not need to be forced and pulled in to enter the battle. The chances of losing are high. We witnessed this already with Palin.

    May 9, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. I wish

    ThinkAgain - If the man is devoid of intellect, how has he gotten a very democrat legislature to cut billions out of the budget along his agenda? I guess his devoided intellect is still superior to the democrats in his state.

    tstorm - there are always people trying to sign petitions for people in every state. How many of them work out? His approval rating is higher than his disapproval rating. As long as that is the case, he will be fine.

    I wish he would run. He is a man who has shown the ability to work with the other side to create a more sustainable government. And he did so in a very blue state. That is leadership. Maybe our president should study Christie for a while.

    May 9, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. CutTax

    Horror of the libs is on the way

    May 9, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  23. PalmReader

    @ The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE – The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Your comments reek of desperation ... and are a good indication of just how low the Republican Party has sunk itself. Not quite how the Republican Party would like itself to be perceived (and never wise to show your cards so blatantly), especially during a Presidential election process.

    May 9, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  24. peace

    the big fat nasty slob would"nt win if he was in the race by himself.

    May 9, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  25. fayse

    Lets just tell it like it is, Christie is a fat slob and a bully. He has already stated that "his wife would kill him" He is probably looking at 2016 but, fat chance in that. Although he could use the next five years to go on a diet. However, if the voters in New Jersey are able to get rid of him in the Re-call vote maybe he will just go back to practicing law.

    May 9, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
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