TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has left the door open for a 2016 presidential run.
Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Christie ruled out a 2012 run for president or vice president. But he left room for a run four years later for higher office.
Responding to a question about a presidential bid in 2016, Christie told host David Gregory he was “going to need a job” after 2013. He added, “So maybe it will be that. Who knows?”
The Republican says his decision will depend on how things are looking for him in New Jersey in 2013, when he is up for re-election.
“That’s going to be determined by how good a job I do and whether the people of the state of New Jersey want me back,” Christie said.
Less than a year after he became the first Republican elected New Jersey governor in a dozen years, defeating Democratic millionaire ex-Wall Streeter Jon Corzine, Christie was the most sought-after guest star on the GOP campaign trail. He spent the past few weeks traipsing from Connecticut to Michigan and Illinois, appearing in Oregon and Minnesota endorsing fellow Republicans and elevating his own national profile.
He stumped for 20 Republicans in 15 states in the run-up to Tuesday’s election, all of whom he carefully culled from scores who sought his support. In New Jersey, where one of 13 congressional seats flipped from Democratic control to Republican, Christie had an active role in the challenger’s campaign.
Christie has repeatedly denied having presidential aspirations for 2012, joking last week that “short of suicide” he wasn’t sure what he could say to convince people that he’s not running, while at the same time increasing his national influence by campaigning.
“Why do all of that, especially in tight races, if you’re not looking down the line at running?” Gregory asked.
Christie said it was because he cares about his country.
“Because I care about my country and felt like those people were the absolute best candidates to make my country a better place,” he said. “That’s why I campaigned for them. I have no other agenda.”
(© 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)