New Jersey Governor Chris Christie told NBC’s David Gregory this morning the Republican presidential nominee would have to be “sedated” if he or she tapped Christie for vice president. But even if the governor isn’t on the ticket, it’s clear he’ll play an oversized role in the 2012 race. Christie has been listed as one of the “top ten” most coveted political endorsements for Republican candidates, and he’s increasing his value even more by releasing national political ads and taking a trip to Iowa in July.
But while Christie weighed in on the 2012 field on Meet the Press this morning, he gave no indication he’s interested in supporting any of the current candidates.
“Listen, I’m under no legal obligation to [endorse anyone],” Christie told Meet the Press host David Gregory. “I’m not a ‘halfway’ kind of guy. So if in fact I feel really strongly about someone, that that person would be the best president of the United States, then I’m going to get out there and go full force for that person. If I don’t feel that way, I won’t.”
And so far, Christie doesn’t sound bowled over by anyone in the field. When Gregory asked whether he thought Rep. Michele Bachmann was a “viable candidate,” Christie ducked the question saying, “I think she’s a person who’s serious about what she believes in.”
“I don’t know her all that well. I only know what I’ve seen on TV, and that sometimes isn’t the most reliable in the world,” he said.
Christie didn’t comment specifically on any of the other candidates, but he gave some advice to the current field. “I think what the American people want more than anything else right now is someone who’s going to look them in the eye and tell them the truth, even if it’s some truth that they don’t like,” he said. “But they have to believe the person’s speaking from their heart and are authentic. And I think that’s what allows you to do the big things, like we are in New Jersey.”
Candidates would be smart to follow Christie’s advice, and in the end an endorsement from the governor would likely give a major boost to the recipient. Not only does Christie have substantial credibility with both grassroots and establishment conservatives, he also has the ear of some of the top donors and activists in Iowa.