Tags: Trump Administration | | GOP2016 | Hillary Clinton | Polls | | Social Security

Chris Christie Unconcerned With His Standing in Presidential Polls

By    |   Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 02:18 PM

Chris Christie is not worried about his low standing in the presidential polls because the "game hasn't even come close to beginning," the New Jersey governor told NBC News' Matt Lauer.

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"I've been the front-runner before. It's a place where the bull's-eye's on your back and everybody's shooting at you. So it's OK. I'm fine with exactly where I am right now 'cause I haven't changed. All that other stuff is artificial until the game really begins. And the game hasn't even come close to beginning," he said during an exclusive interview aired Thursday morning.

In the interview, which was taped during Christie's visit this week to New Hampshire, the yet-undeclared presidential candidate also weighed in on Hillary Clinton's chances for securing the Democratic Party's nomination.

"She was a foregone conclusion in 2007, too, Matt. So was Rudy Giuliani a foregone conclusion in 2007," Christie said. "Mrs. Clinton's going to have to perform, she's going to have to earn the nomination. Nobody is handed these things."

In a Monday interview with Yahoo! News, Christie said he was ready to run for president, but could easily wait until at least June to formally enter the race.

"What’s happening, exactly, that would make me want to go faster?" he replied when asked whether he could afford to wait that long.

While he is content to hold off on an official campaign launch, Christie needs to take some action to improve his poll position in the GOP field.

According to RealClearPolitics presidential poll average, Christie is supported by 5.5 percent of GOP voters and sitting at the back of the pack.

Christie's challenge, however, is that a significant number of Republicans would never vote for him, according to a late March CBS News poll.

With 27 percent support, Christie is 10th in the field, but 42 percent of poll respondents said they would not consider voting for him, which is more than any other listed potential candidate in either party.

Christie's visit to New Hampshire is seen as a re-entry into the presidential scrum and his newly revealed plan to reform entitlement spending is an effort to return to the tough, frank talk that endeared him to voters in 2012.

Christie's entitlement reform plan, which he unveiled on Tuesday in a speech at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, would include means testing Social Security, raising the retirement age for Social Security to 69 and gradually raising the eligibility age for Medicare to 67 by the year 2040, according to CNN.

"The specificity was very good. That’s a very good message to start the campaign with here," Tom Rath, a veteran New Hampshire GOP strategist, told WMUR television, adding that by taking on the "third rail of politics," the governor's plan "stands out."

"I don't think they want some kind of fluff speech from somebody," Christie told WMUR. "They've heard plenty of those. They want to know what you're going to do to make the country better."

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Chris Christie is not worried about his low standing in the presidential polls because the "game hasn't even come close to beginning," the New Jersey governor told NBC News' Matt Lauer.
Chris Christie, NBC News, Matt Lauer, presidential
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2015-18-16
Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 02:18 PM
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