(CNN) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has made no secret of his displeasure with the GOP primary process in 2012, which he has described as the "dumbest idea anybody ever had."
But if he sits out the 2016 White House race, it won't be because of the abrasive process, he says.
"I may not do it, but it won't be for that reason," Christie said, according to Washington Post columnist George Will, who published quotes from the Republican governor in a piece dated Wednesday.
Christie is a favorite among Republicans and is known for his blunt style - which Will describes as akin to "a bulldog who got up on the wrong side of the bed" - and is considered a potential 2016 presidential candidate. Recent polls show around three quarters of people in New Jersey approve of how he has handled his job, and a CNN survey conducted in December found 59% of Republicans and GOP-inclined independents were very or somewhat likely to support him in a 2016 bid.
That his personality is a draw bodes well for his candidacy: "The presidency," he is quoted in the Post as saying, "is the most personal vote people cast."
But he said in the interview that his "yelling and screaming" is, in Will's word, "tactical." "The image of me nationally is a little skewed," he is quoted as saying.
His call-it-as-he-sees-it method was on display in his recent criticism of a National Rifle Association ad, which he described as "reprehensible." The spot referenced President Barack Obama's children in a call for armed guards in schools and other public establishments.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, blasted Christie's comments in an appearance on Laura Ingraham's radio program show, and called Christie's comments on lawmakers a "tantrum" when he spoke against their handling of a Superstorm Sandy relief measure.
Christie responded in the Post, "I want to see the next time a hurricane comes to Kentucky."
Before 2016 rolls around, Christie has a re-election to his current post this year.
– CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Ashley Killough contributed to this report