(CNN) - A group of influential Iowa GOP donors meet Tuesday with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, in what appears to be another sign that many Republicans aren't satisfied with the current crop of candidates running for the GOP presidential nomination.
The half-dozen or so businessmen from the state that holds the first contest in the presidential caucus and primary calendar meet Tuesday evening at the New Jersey governor's residence with Christie, whose tough talk, outspoken comments, and battles with state Democratic lawmakers over budget cuts have made him very popular with Republicans across the country, which has led to calls that he run for the White House.
"We want to encourage him from an Iowa perspective and a national perspective. We need a candidate like him in the race," Bruce Rastetter, an ethanol company executive and one of six Iowans who will meet with Christie, recently told CNN in an interview.
Christie has repeatedly said he is not running for the White House, most recently telling CNN National Political Correspondent Jessica Yellin that "you ain't getting me anywhere near that. My God, I am not running for president. Everyone remain calm. All is well."
Yellin asked Christie the question during an education forum.
After Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels announced earlier this month that he would not make a bid for the GOP presidential nomination, a senior Christie adviser said the governor has "no change of plans" about a White House bid.
Christie said his decision was final although he did agree to meet with the Iowa Republicans. If Christie holds firm in his decision, Rastetter said it is still good for the governor to "meet people and establish those relationships."
In an interview with the Des Moines Register, Rastetter added that "if we only accomplish one thing, and that is to encourage Chris Christie to maintain his leadership style and to encourage other Republicans to have the same leadership style, we'll feel very good about the trip,"
According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday, Republicans and independent voters who lean towards the GOP are split on whether they would like to see Christie run for the GOP nomination. The same survey indicated that only 16 percent are very satisfied with the current crop of presidential candidates, with nearly four in ten saying they are not satisfied with the field.
But Rastetter says the meeting 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 told CNN. "We are attracted by how he governs and addresses the issues."
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. Three candidates have already met with him in hopes of winning his support.
"I am going to continue to play a role as a leader in our party and I think appropriately so," Christie said in a recent interview with radio host Chris Sitgall. "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."
–Follow Kevin Bohn on Twitter: @KevinBohnCNN
–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn
– On Monday, June 13, CNN will host the first New Hampshire Republican Presidential Debate, live from Manchester, NH at 8 p.m. ET. Follow all the issues and campaign news leading up to the debate on CNNPolitics.com and @cnnpolitics on Twitter.