Governor Chris Christie said he won’t be distracted during his second term running New Jersey by talk in political circles that he may seek the White House in 2016.
The 51-year-old Republican, who won re-election with 60 percent of the vote in his Democratic-leaning state yesterday, spoke at a Union City school today. His crushing victory over state Senator Barbara Buono, a Metuchen Democrat, give him “a narrative” for a 2016 White House run, according to Jennifer Duffy, senior editor of the Cook Political Report in Washington.
Christie said he believes he has become a better executive than he was two years ago, when he declined appeals to run for president from Republican supporters. The governor said he’ll focus on New Jersey and his position as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, where he said he hopes to expand the party’s ranks in statehouses nationwide.
“It’s flattering,” Christie said of the attention he has gotten. “But I don’t get distracted easily.”
Yet as head of the governors group, he said he plans to travel the country to help Republican candidates raise money and get elected. That gives him a chance to enhance his national visibility and win favors from party leaders in key states.
Christie won over Democrats and independent voters with his leadership after Hurricane Sandy struck in October 2012, with pre-election surveys showing almost a third of Democrats supporting him, along with a majority of women. He won the largest percentage of the vote of any Republican seeking the office since Tom Kean in 1985.
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