Christie: 'I am not there right now'
May 9th, 2011
12:37 PM ET
4 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. Tony in Maine

    Christie has reached his zenith in NJ. You'd never sell him to the rest of the country, too reminiscent of a mid-level Sopranos character come to life. He is the muscle type, only slightly more cerebral than the idiot who thinks he runs my state.

    May 9, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. Publius Novus

    I'd like to see Christie paired with Jeb Bush. Then we could have "Jeb and the Fat Man." Sut seriously, Christie is nothing but a loudmouthed bully. The people of New Jersey are already tiring of his bullying tactics and lack of any new ideas. And they haven't even started paying back the Feds yet.

    May 9, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. ConservaFASCISTS

    Christie is not cut out to POTUS. He's a union buster just like all of the other fascists republican governors. That is not the type of person we need in the White House. He clearly has it out fr public servants.

    May 9, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  4. GonzoinHouston

    Say what you will about Christie, but he's no dummy. He knows the odds against him beating Obama would be long. He'll wait until 2016 and see which way the wind blows.

    May 9, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    if the GOPers are begging for this guy to run for POTUS it really shows how bad their field is.

    May 9, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  6. Ken, AZ

    The republicans are all over the place. The reason they can't find anyone to run against president Obama is becaue the republican party has moved so far to the right and there are no smart, capable people on that end of the spectrum. Just look at what you have to work with; Palin, Bachmann, Gingrich, Trump, etc. Even the moderate republicans have to pretend to move right to have a chance of capturing the nomination.

    May 9, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  7. BeverlyNC

    We do not need another Republican BULLY and anti-PEOPLE politician joining the growing group of unquallified, lying, racist, hate-mongering, no solution, group of Obama bashers who cannot even forumulate ONE idea or sensible answer to ANY issue facing the nation. I watched a part of the SC "primary debate" and it was embarrassingly absent of facts, issues, data, truth, or believable candidates. None showed any leadership qualiities, answered no questions asked and always just resorted to lies about President Obama. It was a sad showing of how clueless Republicans are and how disconnected with the PEOPLE and the nation they are. There is NO Republican with what it takes to be a leader – whether for the WH or for any seat in Congress.

    We need ALL DEMOCRATS elected in 2012 so we can serious leaders with the Majority again so we can work faster (without constant filibustering and lies) to pass laws to help create jobs faster and keep taking action to make the economy more stable. Democrats have passed 212 PEOPLE-FOCUSED laws in 2 years. Republicans voted NO on every single one and have only worked to protect the wealthy, corporations, and hurt the PEOPLE to do what their CORPORATE buddies want them to do. I thought their oath was to serve the PEOPLE not CORPORATIONS.

    May 9, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  8. SAY WHAT!!!

    Christie – "You have to feel in your heart you want to be president more than anything else, and I am not there right now. In fact by now you all should know I don't even have a heart."

    May 9, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. Mike, Albany

    Christie is being smart here because he knows no republican can win in 2012, so it does not serve him well to be the sacrificial lamb. After all, which party would you rather have: the party that presided over the worst terrorist attack in American history and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, the party that is only for the rich, or the party that brought the economy back from the brink of disaster and took out the most wanted terrorist in the world, the party that cares about the Middle Class? For me, it's a no-brainer.

    May 9, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. Paul1st

    I suspected that Christie isn't all there. Now he has confirmed it!

    May 9, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  11. EddyL

    What a fat slob

    May 9, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. Fair is Fair

    "Obama has shown he has what it takes to lead this country. Obama has my vote in 2012!"
    ____________________________
    You'll be happy to know that my vote will cancel yours out.

    May 9, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  13. Thank God I am a Democrat

    Repubs are desperate.

    May 9, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. eunice

    CHRIS CHRISTIE HAVE NOT DID ANYTHING GREAT FOR NEW JERSEY TAX PAYERS ALL HE'S DONE IS TAKEN AWAY FUNDING THE MIDDLE AND POOR PEOPLE TO GIVE TO HIS FRIENDS -- i will not vote for Mr. Christie -– I'm A NEW JERSEY RESIDENT - OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    May 9, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. GI Joe

    Talk about a Porker in D. C. He's too unhealthy, and uses his weight to intimidate and bully people. Besides, as seen in other Fascist red states, his type of dictatorship is not what the real Americans want.

    May 9, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem with Chrisitie is that he doesn't recognize the fact that the legislature here in NJ is co-equal in the government set up like it is on the federal level. He has threatened to ignore the courts here in NJ. Do people really want someone who openly flaunts the courts when they have spoken?

    May 9, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. Grand Oil Party

    He looked into the local donut shop by the White HOuse and it wasn't up to his standards.

    May 9, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  18. SharonS

    Your right, the stress would probably kill him. He is such a liar and is only looking out for the rich who supported his election.I live in New Jersey and my Real Estate taxes went up and I am still paying the same state taxes. Services in my town have been cut and teachers have lost their jobs.

    May 9, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  19. ModerateInMichigan

    I've never posted but now I feel I must say something. @FinancialReckoning: Do you even know any of the stances of all 12 (estimate) of the Republican candidates you swear will beat President Obama by double digits? Do any of them HAVE actual stances or are they consistently toeing some imaginary line? Every day you pick a different horse, it's old. I understand you seriously dislike our current president but why blindly vote for someone who hasn't said anything?

    May 9, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  20. Mikey

    @ Day of Reckoning – Still on the sauce, I see. You're going to love the next 5 years, 8 months with Obama as POTUS.

    May 9, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. ModerateInMichigan

    Continued @FinancialReckoning: Your method of voting would have elected Hitler and/or OBL so long as there was an R after their name. Does that make you proud? Have a fantastic day, all!

    May 9, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  22. john

    translation..."I've been far to corrupt and self serving to be put under such scrutiny, so I'm not running."

    May 9, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. kd

    Christie won't run because he knows no Republican has a chance.

    May 9, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  24. Mikey

    Christie is smart enough to know that it's a lost cause for the GOP in 2012. It was even before the Bin Laden success. Even the Veep candidate will probably get soiled in the drubbing. The smart one's will stay out of play for 2nd place and then decline any VP offer.

    I'm a hug supporter of the President, but do not dislike Christie. While somewhat overly blunt, he is not afraid to say what he thinks, and much of what he says is true. I wish he would go a little easier on unions and public employees, though. This trend of vilifying and scapegoating public employees is ridiculous and not very helpful toward solving our problems.

    May 9, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    Yes, and in that photo, he is showing the audience how he used his right hand at the dinner table to scoop everything on the table towarrds himself.

    May 9, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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