COMMENTARY | This flirtation has got to stop.
There has been zero indication that Chris Christie, Republican rising star and governor of New Jersey, has any interest in running for president in 2012.
Earlier today, Fox News, citing "sources close to the New Jersey governor," said that Christie has not changed his mind, and will not be a candidate for president in this election cycle. The New Jersey Star Ledger says the same thing, with no less a source than the governor's own brother. "I'm sure that he's not going to run," Todd Christie said. "If he's lying to me, I'll be as stunned as I've ever been in my life."
A statement yesterday from GOP spokesman Rich Gorka, further confirms that the governor is not interested. "Governor Christie is flattered that his accomplishments in New Jersey have received so much support from voters across the country but nothing has changed with regards to the Governor's decision not to run for President in 2012."
This should come as no surprise. It's what he said in August.
Christie doesn't want to run. For lots of good reasons, he's not ready. So can we please stop pestering him about it?
The truly sad thing about it is that almost all of the speculation about Christie originates from the political right. The latest round of rumors started when former New Jersey governor Tom Kean said Monday that " the odds are a lot better now" that Christie would run. Most of these rumors started from some pundit, insider or politician from the right wing. To be fair, Christie has flirted with it a bit himself, so he shares some of the blame. But whenever there's a hint of dissatisfaction with the current crop of candidates, a couple of names get tossed around as potential saviors again, Christie's foremost among them.
Gov. Perry's poor debate performances are doubtlessly adding fuel to the fire. There's a growing sense of dissatisfaction with Perry, particularly on his stand on immigration. There's been a similar malaise about Romney and his "Obamneycare" health care plan. Neither of these positions are consistent with current "mainstream" political thinking on the right.
But it's not like Gov. Christie is a right-wing purist. By almost any measure, he's a moderate, even more so than Romney. The governor is on the record saying that he believes in man-made global warming. He doesn't seem to mind civil unions for gay people. He supports gun control. And said that "being in this country without proper documentation is not a crime."
The GOP faithful are so unhappy with their current crop of presidential contenders that they are excited about a political moderate? When they heap scorn on the ones they have in Congress already, and encouraging Tea Party challengers to run against them, like Senator Olympia Snowe in Maine?
Just what are Republicans searching for in a candidate? Does anyone know? They better figure it out soon, because they are running out of time. Primary voting starts in three months.
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- New Jersey governor