Christie Doesn't Rule Out Another Run for President: 'I Love the Executive Branch'

January 29, 2019

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R.) said during an interview Tuesday that he had no plans to run for office again but wouldn't definitively rule it out.

In a rare appearance by a pro-Donald Trump voice on MSNBC's "Deadline: White House," Christie bristled at the idea of taking himself out of contention for anything at age 56. Host Nicolle Wallace noted the name of his new book, Let Me Finish, and asked if he was going to run again, without specifying an office.

"I don't have any plans to," he said.

"Oh, that's how it always starts!" Wallace said.

Christie said it was a no-win question, saying if he said no and circumstances arose that made him change his mind, they would play the tape of him denying it.

"I'm 56 years old, so I'm not going to preclude myself from doing anything in the future," he said.

Christie said "I love the executive branch" and would choose to be there, whether it was in an elected or appointed position. He ruled out running for Congress, saying he could never be "1 of 100" or "1 of 435," referring to the number of seats in the Senate and House of Representatives.

Christie often spoke scathingly of Congress and the Senate Republicans running for the presidency when he made his bid in 2016. He dropped out of the GOP presidential race after dismal finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire. He endorsed Trump in February of 2016, despite previously saying the eventual Republican nominee wasn't qualified, and became one of his main surrogates against Hillary Clinton.

Wallace, a former George W. Bush aide who is one of Trump's fiercest critics on television, said she and Christie would never agree on Trump, but she praised his book's writings on personal issues like his early marriage troubles.

"I think if you run for president again, there's a lot more in here for people to sink their teeth into," Wallace said.

Christie was considered for attorney general, and he briefly headed the Trump presidential transition team before being replaced by Mike Pence shortly after the election. He also met with Trump last month about the open chief of staff job before taking himself out of consideration.

Although Christie was reelected in a landslide in 2013 in New Jersey, his popularity plummeted and he left office the least popular governor in the state's history. Among the factors contributing to his decline were his endorsement of Trump, his presidential run where he tacked right, and the "Bridgegate" scandal that sent two of his top aides to prison.