New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie’s speech at 9 p.m. Eastern time today at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., is taking on added importance amid reports that he is considering a run for the presidency.
Politicos across the country will watch the speech carefully to see whether the straight-talking governor gives any indication of whether he’ll run — as Newsmax first reported on Friday that he is considering doing
— and what his policy platform would be.
Christie is scheduled to speak about American exceptionalism and the legacy of President Ronald Reagan. Those are themes that should go over well with Republicans, regardless of whether he jumps into the fray.
Even if Christie doesn’t run this time around, he would be on a shortlist of vice presidential candidates and could well make a bid in 2016 if President Barack Obama is re-elected next year.
Christie repeatedly has denied that he’s running. But after multiple pleas from some of the wealthiest Republican donors, he’s apparently reconsidering. A New York Times story Tuesday listed Home Depot founder Kenneth Langone and Charles Schwab, founder of the discount brokerage with his name, as two of the deep-pocketed donors trying to persuade Christie to throw his hat in the ring.
The corporate titans see Christie as better able to work with Democrats and curtail the power of unions than the current crop of candidates, according to political observers.
Poor performances by front-runner Rick Perry in the two most recent debates, along with businessman Herman Cain’s surprise victory in Saturday’s Florida Straw Poll, intensified speculation that Christie might join the GOP presidential sweepstakes.
His schedule after the speech certainly has the look of someone who’s running for president. He has several fundraising events planned in Missouri and California this week. Christie made an unpublicized journey to Colorado last week to speak to a gathering of wealthy donors.
Former New Jersey Republican Gov. Tom Kean, who has known Christie since he was a teenager, confirmed in the National Journal that Christie is seriously considering a White House bid.
“It’s real,” Kean said. “He’s giving it a lot of thought. I think the odds are a lot better now than they were a couple weeks ago.”
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