During the 2012 Republican primaries, there was a lot of speculation that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was going to throw his hat into the ring and challenge eventual winner Mitt Romney. A tough fiscal conservative with a socially liberal streak, Christie has been a darling of the Republican party since he unseated Governor John Corzine in New Jersey. Now Christie is opening up as to why he didn’t run in 2012 and why he may run in 2016.
Christie said in an interview with Steve Adubato on the show Conversations at NJPAC:
“I wasn’t ready to run for President this time. If [a 2016 presidential run] comes, I know that I will be more ready for it than I would have been this year.”
Christie is the most favored candidate among national Republicans to take the nomination in 2016, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll, which was released on Tuesday. While his approval rating among Republicans has been very high all year, it skyrocketed with his handling of the Hurricane Sandy catastrophe, which hit New Jersey a couple of months ago.
While Christie may be riding on cloud nine right now, he didn’t mince words when talking about what the Republican party faced heading into 2016.
“We’re not connecting with Americans on the issues that matter most to them. We haven’t had the best candidates. I believe that Mitt Romney is a good man. I was out supporting him before anyone else, but he simply didn’t connect with Americans.”
The one chink in Christie’s armor is that he took a significant amount of flak for his support of President Obama during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Criticism went from giving Obama an advantage in the election to outright being called a traitor.
Christie said of the incident:
“Mitt Romney knew that I was doing what had to be done. Then the media and political operatives got involved and it turned into a story. It’s just stupid for anyone to be upset with my reaction, even if it was a week before the election.”
Would you vote for Chris Christie in 2016?