Christie to Iowa but still not running for W.H.
June 1st, 2011
12:00 PM ET
11 years ago

Christie to Iowa but still not running for W.H.

(CNN) - Chris Christie's headed to Iowa next month.

But aides to the New Jersey governor say this doesn't mean he has changed his mind and is now interested in running for the GOP presidential nomination.

Instead, they say Christie has accepted an invitation from Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a fellow Republican, to speak at an education summit in Des Moines. Christie and Branstad, who served as Iowa governor from 1983 to 1999, are friends and the New Jersey governor traveled to Iowa last year to campaign for Branstad when he was running again for his old job.

News of the Iowa visit was first reported by the Des Moines Register.

Word of Christie's trip came just a few hours after he met with a group of influential Iowa GOP donors, who were hoping to convince Christie to change his mind regarding a bid for the White House.

The half-dozen or so businessmen from the state that holds the first contest in the presidential caucus and primary calendar met with Christie Tuesday evening at the New Jersey governor's residence. The governor’s 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.

Bruce Rastetter, an ethanol company executive and one of the Iowans who met with Christie, said they asked the New Jersey governor to "lend his voice to national issues and encourage him to run for president."

Asked by CNN's Carol Costello what makes Christie different than the GOP candidates already in the race, Rastetter said "Christie has what a number of political aspirants don't have is the ability to be very blunt and direct and to articulate and to be able to communicate in such a way that you know exactly what he's thinking. He has a common sense approach to government."

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.

Rastetter said his sense is that Christie will stand by his commitment to keep his eye on the Garden state.

"My sense from last night is that he's made a commitment to the people of New Jersey and I think the people of New Jersey need to ask themselves the question if they'd be better off, and whether we'd be better off as a country, in having Chris Christie as their governor or as their president," added Rastetter in his interview on CNN NewsRoom

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.

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," Christie said.

- CNN Senior Political Producer Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.

- 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 and @cnnpolitics on Twitter.

Watch CNN Newsroom weekdays 9am to 3pm ET and weekends. For the latest from the CNN Newsroom click here.

Filed under: 2012 • Chris Christie • Iowa • TV-CNN Newsroom
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    He would lose his own state's primary. That's pretty bad.

    June 1, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Where in the constitution does it say that Hutts are eligible for POTUS?

    June 1, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    He's out there to get in an order for 7 dozen ears of corn for himself ONLY at his next half-cow barbeque for himself ONLY. Talk about PORK in DC, he would definitely be it.

    June 1, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. once upon a horse

    did he take the state helicopter up there to tell them this and have a limo drive him 100 feet like he did for his son's baseball game in New Jersey? Another do as I say and not as I do Republican.

    June 1, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. diridi

    I do not know as to who will vote to this idiot....Ask NJ. He is not for POTUS.

    June 1, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. w l jones

    We need a president not only highly intelligent but be able to use his mind eyes" that is" look at all faucet of our country and work to it end. Take foriegn policy be able to work with friend and fore create better understanding for common good of both country. Be who maybe. Bless.

    June 1, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |

    Fattie needs to run to the gym.

    June 1, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  8. Just Me

    That man is running towards death instead of potentially running for POTUS. He needs to pay attention to his health and loose some weight for the sake of his family and his constituents. That weight is a ticking time bomb. So my advise to him is start watching what he eats and exercise. Can be POTUS if you are dead from a heart attack or a stroke. Just saying....

    June 1, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. GI Joe

    So far, the current President beats any of the suggest nominees, hands down. Why waste our time and money having to even listen to these lying hate-filled types?

    June 1, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. Laverne

    What is suppose to be so good about this oompa loompa?? He is just another loud mouth, bully republican who just don't get it. Please leave him in NJ!

    June 1, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  11. ART

    The Governor who ate New Jersey. Anyone who takes a police helicopter to their sons base ball game in these times is an idiot, he doesn't care for the people of NJ only the rich ones.

    June 1, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. ABM

    Let him get through ONE term before you entertain the thought of this bully being a contender. His state is going through buyers remorse now – a sure sign that he will not be re-elected or be a viable candidate for the WH.

    Sorry – extreme rightwingers and bully lovers

    June 1, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. SAY WHAT!!!

    Seriously this guy...he does not look like a POTUS material...

    June 1, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  14. Kenny

    NEWS FLASH: ......... ALL registered Republicans are now running for President of the United States in 2012 except maybe Todd Palin and the only reason he isn't running is because the Family IDIOT told him not to run. He would be needed at home to baby sit.

    June 1, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. BlackPanthers2020

    Christie is another republican hipocrit , cutting funding everywhere in NJ but can see fit to use that state's helicopter for his own personal use , and just how much did that cost along with the limo drive of 100 yards to his seat at this baseball game . Just like republicans slash every program that benefits the small American while running out the back door with a hand full of our tax dollars.....

    June 1, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. Papasan

    Gov. Christie dosen't miss many meals, does he...

    June 1, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. Steve Of TX

    Oh come on! I really want to see Christie-the-Hutt run. It would make the primaries ever so much more interesting. Please run .....

    June 1, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  18. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Honesty if this guy wants to be president he needs to get in shape because right now he's a financial liability, we can't afford the cost of a new Airforce One.

    June 1, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. Ken, AZ

    Until the GOP moves back towards the center they will not attract decent candidates. Just look at the crop of GOP governors and and others elected in 2010. A bunch of ignorant and inept cartoon characters.

    June 1, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  20. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He doesn't understand how to be an administrator. He only understands the bully part which came from his previous job. If he could bully the people he was prosecuting, then he would win and that is what he is trying to do with the teachers and state workers (and just about any one else in the state).

    June 1, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  21. 'merica ruined by rethugs

    once upon a horse: yup, teachers would be villified if they ever did something like that in NJ by big boy; besides it's not like he couldn't use the exercise either!

    June 1, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  22. Bart

    He's going to Iowa for the pig legs at the state fair. Also, he could not win the primary because he is too much of a straight shooter and he not bat-crap crazy.

    June 1, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. DollarPalin

    Whats his record. Taxes for the rich which have not reduced unemployment and cut funding to schools, police, fire, parks etc. Way to go Christie

    June 1, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Gov. Christie has too many problems at home. His policies and decisions appear that New Jersey will have a bigger deficit than when he took office. He totally ignored state laws when it came to cutting Education funding, and he totally ignored the true meaning and intent of an earmark for a high speed rail project nearing completion. He must restore funding and pay back federal grants on a railway system to no where.

    If he mounted a presidential campaign, at best it would look like he cut and ran. At worst, it would be used as ammunition.

    June 1, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. Name king

    It's amazing how repugs can Chang the fabrics of facts, and twist it around to sell to the most gullible in our society. When will these people understand that talking points and sincere looking body languages has been used by big corporation sales people to sell you your clothe off your back. This guy looks like a well taught manipulator, that can take the fact in front of you, and sell you that fact as something totally the opposite. The ways of the rich and manipulative, which other folks call powerful. If you were wondering, powerful means to get people to believe and act upon, your will!

    June 1, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |