Despite the Bridge-gate scandal
that has dropped him from his front-runner status, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he doesn't have too much baggage to run for president in 2016.
"If you don't have baggage, they'll create baggage for you. That's politics in America today," Christie told Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File" in an interview aired Monday.
Host Megyn Kelly noted that he didn't have any baggage in 2010 when he chose not to run.
"I'm older," he said.
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Christie also responded to critics who said his bear hug of President Barack Obama when he visited New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy hurt Mitt Romney's chances at winning the White House.
Christie says the gesture didn't hurt Romney, and the best source of that information is Romney himself.
"I've seen him publically say over and over again that it had absolutely no effect or role in the race, either subjectively for the way he felt or objectively in terms of what their polls looked like at the time," Christie said.
The governor added that he worked tirelessly for Romney's campaign, right up until the point that the storm devastated his state. He was the first governor to endorse Romney in fall 2011, and campaigned in 28 states for him.
Those who criticized him, he said, "have a very short memory."
Asked for his top candidates for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, Christie listed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Rep. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. He doesn't believe 2010 nominee Mitt Romney will run again.
As for himself, he said, "We'll see."
He predicts Republicans will take over the Senate in November.
Christie agreed that America is weaker than it was before Obama took office in 2008 -- at least as perceived by other countries. America has to be a force for good around the world, and when it is not no one else fills that vacuum, he said.
He not as agreeable to those who say America is less free today, despite revelations in the past year about potential spying on Americans by the National Security Agency. Still, he said, the NSA needs to be reined in.
Asked whether Obama has been a transformational president, Christie said, "The jury's still out."
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