After weeks of being courted by wealthy Republican donors and contemplating whether he should mount a presidential 2012 campaign, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie officially turned down his boosters Tuesday, saying “now is not my time.”
But the blunt-talking governor didn’t completely close the door on a future bid for the White House, and observers told amNewYork it’d be wiser for him to finish out his first term before running for national office.
“So New Jersey, whether you like it or not, you’re stuck with me,” Christie, 49, said at a news conference, adding that he’s not interested in the vice presidency either.
“The fact is I don’t think there’s anyone in America who thinks my personality is suited to being No. 2,” he said.
GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney was among the challengers Tuesday to weigh in, adding Christie “would have been a very fine contender … if he were in the race.”
According to a Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday, Christie “had a serious chance to win it all,” with the governor beating President Barack Obama by three percentage points.
But Jamie Chandler, a Hunter College political professor, said 2016 would give a more moderate candidate, such as Christie, a better prospect of winning. He’s also not likely to get tapped as a vice president next year anyway, Chandler added.
“If Romney is the nominee, he’ll probably balance the ticket with someone from the Midwest or a southern state,” he said.
Chandler added that waiting another four years would give Christie time to stockpile actual achievements he can tout, as well as to get healthy for a grueling presidential campaign.
During the news conference, Christie referred to the jokes made by late-night shows about his girth.
“It’s not a news flash to me that I’m overweight,” Christie said, adding that “all I care about is that [the jokes] are actually funny.”