(CNN) - Chris Christie thinks Iowans aren't tired by the bumper crop of questions circling his political future.
In fact, he says Hawkeye State voters like him almost as much as corn dogs at the state fair.
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"I think they love me in Iowa, too," Christie told ABC News' Dianne Sawyer in an exclusive interview that aired Thursday evening.
While the New Jersey governor's very public tussle with the question of running for president in 2016 moves toward an answer as slow as molasses in January, the Republican name-checked the early voting state as a potential building block for a would-be campaign.
"I've been there a lot," Christie said of the state. "I think they love me there, too, especially because of the way I am."
Christie has come under fire over a political scandal roiling his administration.
State legislative and federal investigators are looking at whether traffic jams were orchestrated by top appointees near the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee last year as political retribution against the town's Democratic mayor for not endorsing Christie for reelection.
A report released on Thursday by a team of private lawyers hired by Christie's office to scrutinize the issue cleared him of having any knowledge of the matter until after it all occurred, a point the governor has made previously.
But the saga has called into question his sometimes brash leadership style that helped propel his rise to national prominence.
Despite the governor's insistence that Iowa voters "love" him, Christie's stock in the state has slipped during the fallout from the bridge imbroglio that has engulfed several top appointees.
A Des Moines Register poll from earlier this month indicated 57% of Iowans disapprove of the way Christie handled the scandal. Republicans in the state were not much kinder to the potential candidate: 47% said the New Jersey governor's response was lacking.
Christie's stock has also fallen in relation to one potential 2016 rival.
A Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this month showed Christie trailing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 48% to 35%, among Iowa voters, a dramatic shift from when the New Jersey governor led the Democrat and potential White House candidate by 5 points in a December poll.
Thus far, Christie, who helms the Republican Governor's Association - a powerful fundraising arm - has skipped stopping in Iowa to campaign with Gov. Terry Branstad.
Running for a record sixth-term, Branstad backed Christie amid calls for New Jersey's chief executive to resign his post as RGA chair over the scandal.
But the longtime Iowa pol predicted that winning over voters in his state, who kick off the caucus and primary calendar, could be tough tomatoes for Christie.
"Wouldn't hurt to be a little more humble," Branstad told the Los Angeles Times in February. "Iowans really like their leaders to be hard-working and humble."
Still, Christie insisted again, like he did on Wednesday night on his "Ask the Governor" radio program, that the impasse for his administration will not weigh on his decision about 2016.
"I don't intend to make a discussion about 2016 until a year from now," Christie said. "But it won't have anything to do with what has happened in the past 10 weeks."
"What has happened in last 10 weeks, I think will ultimately make me a better leader, whether it's governor of New Jersey or any other job I might take in the public or private sector," he added.
Chris Christie is the lobbyist who made it possible for Bernie Madoff to run his ponzy scheme.
Speaking on behalf of the state of Iowa...I don't think so!!
Again with the Benghazzzzzzzzzzzziiiii!!!! schtick. In case you missed all the headlines a few months ago, it turned out this consulate was really just a CIA operations front, for sneaking arms into Syria. Most of the people rescued were CIA. Any idea how much CIA is beloved around the world? If indeedy it truly was a CIA front do you really think you are ever going to find out what really went on? I doubt that Hillary or even the President know all the details. The CIA has proven time and again that they have the ability to thumb their collective noses at just about anybody in our government, or the world for that matter. If the real truth were known we might find that nobody involved was a pure as the driven snow--past or present. We will never know all the answers because just like the line in an old Scorsese movie...."You couldn't handle the truth".
so nice he is living in a different universe
Iowans love cows, too, Chris.
It's because they don't know you.
Well Gov. Christie we don't need another Nixon!!! As you prefer bluntness I offer my blunt reply!!! if anyone is to consider any Republican for any position above janitor they must be well beyond reproach!!! Unfortunately as of this date you have failed the test!!!
Fish, you need to move out of your parents basement. Obama wants you to sign up for Obamacare so you can pay my premiums.
How many times do we Americans vote for corrupt, lying, sleeky politicians? Here in the South they have been doing it for a century. And we wonder why are country is so bad! Quit blaming Obama for your problems when the problem is your state and your local community.
If Iowans love you then why stay in Jersey?
almost as much as he loves himself.....
That's because the folks in Iowa don't know you well enough yet...
Not everyone in Iowa loves Christie. What a colossal ego he has, as does the other GOP lining up for 2016. We really can't have this happening to our country after what we have been through from the other GOP Presidents. Sure they helped make a look of people rich from the profits of war, but look what it did to the rest of our country and our young we had to bury, with the thousands of others, broken, bruised and beyond repair – and the most of the GOP all ready to start another war, with Syria, Russia and Iran, as they don't believe in President Obama trying diplomacy.
@Bill, Bloominton IL "Fish, you need to move out of your parents basement. Obama wants you to sign up for Obamacare so you can pay my premiums."
That's the way the system works. If Fish doesn't sign up (along with other young people) your premiums will be sky high with only old people in the pool. Now if Fish gets in a motorcycle wreck and crushes most of his "good stuff" he'll run up a $1million dollar hospital bill and we'll all be paying his expenses. Anybody who is uninsured will cost the taxpayer money and get lower quality medical care.
They voted for Michelle Bachmann. Where is she now?
"I think they love me there, too, especially because of the way I am."
–One thing about recent Republican presidential candidates: They are delusional.
RettasVegas, "Hey NJ, remember, you are what you hang with, you should have had his past checked, he's only doing what has worked in his past which is intimidation, and money = POWER = more $"
Maybe, just maybe you should used those same words when you so-called vetted the current President, associates with know terrorists, his mentor was a card carrying member of the communist party, got into college claiming to be a foreign exchange student. ( guess he thought Hawaii was a foreign country) best of all claiming his mother did not have health insurance.
Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross......
Does Christy or Rand EVER work for the citizens that elected them or are they simply in constant campaign mode??? You never hear of either of them doing any work. Just flying around the country on the tax payers dime. And bashing President Obama.
Is that not what President Obama has done, campaigning, vacation on the tax payers dime, his wife, children and mother in law on vacation with friends, all on the taxpayers dime.