Chris Christie in His Own Words: A Year-Long Mantra of ‘I’m Not Running’

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is actively considering entering the race for U.S. president and may make a decision within a few days, a Republican donor who asked not to be identified said today. For the past year, the 49-year-old first-term Republican has turned “I’m not running” into a near-daily mantra. Following is a sample of his denials:

Sept. 27, speaking at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California:

“I’ve been succinct about this. Politico put a minute and 53 seconds of my answers strung back to back to back to back together on the question of running for the presidency. Click on it. Those are the answers.”

Sept. 22, appearing with Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels at Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey:

“When I’m in a hotel room in Des Moines and it’s 5:30 in the morning and it’s 15 below and it’s time for me to get up to go shake hands at the meat-packing plant, the only one that’s going to be in bed with me is Mary Pat, not you. So I’ll be out there on my own. You all will be back here in New York or Washington or wherever you’re from, warm in your beds, sleeping, while I’m out there doing that.”

June 26, on NBC-TV’s “Meet the Press:”

“The person who picked me as vice president would have to be sedated. Seriously, forget it.”

June 23, on Fox News’s “Your World With Neil Cavuto:”

“I don’t have the desire to do it. Nor do I think I’m ready.”

June 15, on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight:”

“I’m 100 percent certain I’m not going to run.”

May 24, at a news conference in Trenton, New Jersey:

“If the president’s people want to do ‘op’ research on me, I’m sure that’s their prerogative. They won’t have a chance to use it, though, because I’m not going to be the Republican candidate for president or vice president in 2012.”

May 9, on Philadelphia radio station WPHT-AM:

“I’m a kid from Jersey who has people asking him to run for president. I’m thrilled by it. I just don’t want to do it.”

May 3, at a town hall meeting in Manalapan, New Jersey:

“I got enough damn problems in New Jersey. My pension system’s $54 billion in debt, my health insurance is $67 billion in debt, the budget deficit last year was $11 billion, we got some of the highest taxes in America, we got 104,000 kids in 200 failing schools, and you’re breaking my chops about gas taxes.”

April 6, to ABC News’s Diane Sawyer:

“You don’t make a decision to run for the president of the United States based on impulse. I don’t feel ready in my heart to be president, and unless I do, I don’t have any right offering myself to the people of this country. It’s much too big a job.”

March 1, in an interview on NationalReview.com:

“I’ve been interested in politics my whole life. I see the opportunity. But I just don’t believe that’s why you run.”

Feb. 16, in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington:

“I threatened to commit suicide. I did. I said, ‘What do I have to do, short of suicide, to convince people I’m not running?’ Apparently I actually have to commit suicide to convince people I’m not running.”

Nov. 24, 2010, on NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” television program:

Fallon: “So, president? Out?”

Christie: “Out.”

Fallon: “Vice president?”

Christie: “Out.”

Fallon: “Come on.”

Christie: “Can you see me as anybody’s vice president?”

Fallon: “You and Sarah Palin.”

Nov. 5, 2010, at a news conference in Trenton, New Jersey:

“I’ve said I don’t want to. I’m not going to. There is zero chance I will. I don’t feel like I’m ready to be president. I don’t want to run for president. I don’t have the fire in the belly to run for president. But, yet, everyone still thinks, ‘Well, he’s left the door open a little bit.’ Short of suicide, I don’t really know what I’d have to do to convince you people that I’m not running. I’m not running.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Elise Young in Trenton, New Jersey, at eyoung30@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at mtannen@bloomberg.net.

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