Christie didn't say he was running. Because he's so well-known, he asserted he can wait until early 2015 before deciding the promise and benefits of a presidential run exceed the costs to him and his family.
He used his non-candidate status as a shield to deflect questions about policy specifics on issues like the Export-Import Bank and infrastructure investments, and declined to say anything at all about likely expected Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. New NBC News/Marist poll numbers this week show he has good reason for caution. One-third of Republicans in Iowa and New Hampshire view him unfavorably—higher negative numbers than for any other potential GOP candidate.
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But the fact that he sat down for the conversation hours before flying to Iowa showed how thoroughly he is considering his 2016 chances, months after the George Washington Bridge scandal that damaged his public reputation.
He repeated his longstanding contention that he had been unaware of the bridge closure until after the fact. And he zestily dismissed as "bull" and "garbage" the idea that his bully-boy persona had led aides to believe that that was an acceptable tactic. "Someone went rogue," he said.
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He flashed the same spunk in dismissing complaints from the right that he had whiffed on free-market principles by denying Tesla the right to sell its electric cars direct to New Jersey consumers, something his state's auto dealers opposed. "Crap," the governor said, insisting that the state legislature needed to pass a law to accommodate Tesla.