N.J. Gov. Chris Christie said to be reconsidering GOP bid for president

Posted Friday, Sep. 30, 2011  comments  Print Reprints

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TRENTON, N.J. -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is reconsidering his decision to stay out of the race for the White House in 2012 and is expected to decide soon, according to several people close to him.

Christie has long said he won't run in 2012. But those close to the first-term governor, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the issue, say he is rethinking his stance.

Filing deadlines in primary states are only weeks away.

Calls have been intensifying from top GOP donors and party elders for Christie to jump into the race.

Other GOP latecomers have jumped in to see a big initial splash, only to tread water.

Michele Bachmann leapfrogged ahead of Mitt Romney only to be pushed back when Texas Gov. Rick Perry joined the field in August after months of insisting he had no interest. But after two shaky performances at debates, Perry now, too, seems vulnerable to getting picked off.

Unlike Perry, Christie is most at home behind a lectern and seems to relish debate.

New Jersey's pugnacious governor has been asked about his presidential aspirations practically since taking the oath of office in January 2010. But until this week, he has swatted down the idea repeatedly, consistently and colorfully.

He said he wouldn't run because he wasn't ready, because his wife wouldn't let him and because "I'm not crazy, that's why." A more famous reply came about a year ago when he said that "short of suicide" he wasn't sure what he could say to convince people that he's not running.

But after a whirlwind week campaigning and fundraising in Missouri, Louisiana and California, which included a speech Tuesday night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, he started to dial back his denials.

Asked about running, Christie urged a capacity audience at the Reagan Library to look at the website Politico, which had pieced together a long string of video clips of him saying he's not a candidate for the White House.

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