New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stayed neutral Sunday on whether he’ll run for president. But the Republican had a message for governors and other elected officials pondering a 2016 run: “Get the job done.”
In his first major TV interview since a decisive re-election effort Tuesday, Christie told “Fox News Sunday” his immediate focus is leading his home state and the Republican Governors Association.
“What I’m interested in doing is being governor of New Jersey,” he said. “Right now, we’ve got a lot of things to focus on.”
Still, Christie made clear that his success was based on sound fiscal conservative policy, amid questions about whether he’s conservative enough to become a Republican presidential nominee.
He argued that taking roughly 60 percent of the vote Tuesday was the result of him, in large part, creating 143,000 new private-sector jobs, slowing the growth rate of property taxes and reforming teacher tenure.
“That’s what people in New Jersey want, and that’s what people across the country want,” said Christie, in suggesting what would make a good presidential candidate.
He argued his efforts to work across the aisle helped him win 57 percent of the women vote and 51 percent of the Hispanic vote -- two voting blocs that Republicans have struggled to reach.
Pressed on several hot-button conservative issues, Christie told Fox News that gun-control “can be a part of” the gun-violence solution, but his focus remains on mental-health issues. He said President Obama and Congress need to come together on immigration to fix a “broken system.” And he refused to respond to criticism by such conservatives and fellow potential 2016 candidates as GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky.
“I’m not getting into that Washington game,” Christie said. “That’s why people hate Washington, D.C.; that kind of garbage.”