Chris Christie on Running for Governor

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," November 2, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Election eve, and the mad, mad dash for votes is on.

Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto.

Fourteen hours to go before voters go to the polls in two crucial states, New Jersey and Virginia, among some other cities. And forget 2010, why what happens here could shake up Washington right now. And we are all over it right now, in New Jersey, where Republican Chris Christie is clinging to a two-point lead over the incumbent Democrat, Governor Jon Corzine, this despite Corzine's repeated appearances with President Obama.

To Virginia, Republican Bob McDonnell surging ahead of Democrat Creigh Deeds by 12 points in the race for governor there.

And then the most storied congressional race in the country, New York's famous 23rd District, where the outcome here could say more about Republicans than Democrats. The GOP candidate is out and now backs the Democratic candidate.

Reaction from RNC Chairman Michael Steele just moments from now.

First, to the guy who wants to be the next New Jersey governor, Chris Christie.

His opponent, by the way, Jon Corzine, not talking to us, but one of our reporters did manage to catch up with him. Part of that interview coming up shortly.

To Chris Christie right now.

Chris, the latest polls have you slightly ahead, but they're very, very tight. They're all very, very tight. What role do you think Chris Daggett, the third party candidate, is going to have on this election?

CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you know, it's really hard to tell, Neil. But my view is that this is my job to close the deal now. In the last 30 hours or so here, it's my job to finish this off.

That's what we're going to do. We're campaigning all over the state. I think the momentum is in our direction. I think in the end we're going to beat Jon Corzine tomorrow night, no matter what percentage Chris Daggett gets.

CAVUTO: All right, but do you think his presence complicates things for you, that if he were not on the ticket, your lead might be a more comfortable one?

CHRISTIE: You know, I just don't know, Neil. And I think that's something that we're only going to know after the fact, to see who actually has voted for Chris Daggett.

You know, independents traditionally, you know, under-perform their poll numbers. We're going to wait to see what happens tomorrow night.

But, listen, here's the bottom line: People in New Jersey know that there are two choices, real choices for governor. It's either me or Jon Corzine. And people have had enough of Jon Corzine, and they want a change in New Jersey.

CAVUTO: When I spoke with Chris Daggett, the independent candidate, not too long ago, I did raise the issue of his rise — very quick rise and whether there was Corzine money behind it. I want to replay a bit of that for you, Chris.


CAVUTO: Can I ask you some cynical questions?


CAVUTO: Some say that the Corzine people are secretly, or those loyal to him, funding your campaign.

DAGGETT: Take a look at my funding. It's all public knowledge. It's all publicly available on election law enforcement records. The people that funded me are friends of mine and associates over a number of years.

CAVUTO: So when Barack Obama is with Jon Corzine and the two, you know, bash Chris Christie, but don't mention you. What do you think of that?

DAGGETT: I think that Jon Corzine is worried mostly probably about making Barack Obama talk positively about him. I don't think he's worried about whether he bashes one guy too hard or the other.


CAVUTO: Of course, Chris, it's all water under the proverbial bridge after tomorrow's vote. But are you inclined to want to look at this? Many in the Republican Party have said it is worth looking at. Others have said let bygones be bygones or grease be grease. What say you?

CHRISTIE: Well, listen, you know, I'm going to win tomorrow night. And so, after that happens, then, Neil, I'm not worried about a thing about what Chris Daggett did or didn't do or what Jon Corzine did or didn't do. I will be then focused on fixing our broken state — lowering taxes, cutting spending and doing the things that need to be done for our state right now.

CAVUTO: Would there be an effort to reach out to the Daggett camp if you did win? It must say something about this race, Chris, if you and the governor are dead even in the polls, and regardless of the percentages, you've got to correct for him, there is a large protest vote to both of the established candidates. What do you make of that?

CHRISTIE: Listen, what I make of it is that there is a lot of anger in New Jersey, a lot of anger in New Jersey, and that anger gets displaced sometimes. But in the end, I will bring people together once I'm governor. We'll reach out to everybody, just as we have during the campaign — Republicans, Democrats and independents — to make sure that we fix our state. That's really the most important thing, Neil, so of course, we'll reach out to everybody.

CAVUTO: All right. Now, Chris, as a fellow big guy, you have been very, very good at responding to criticism of those who would rather focus on your weight than the weighty issues of the state. But you particularly handled it with remarkable ease, even good humor, with my colleague and friend Don Imus. This is from a few days back with Don Imus.


DON IMUS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Should you be trying to set some kind of example, Chris? Come on.

CHRISTIE: Well, I think I am, Don. I am setting an example. We've got to spur our economy, Don. Dunkin' Donuts, International House of Pancakes. Those people need to work, too.


CAVUTO: What did you think of how that interview went over? I have heard from a lot of people in your campaign that they kind of felt jazzed and energized after it; others saying that it brought the weight thing to the floor again and that was not well-served for you. What do you make of it?

CHRISTIE: Listen, I had a good time. Don Imus is a funny guy. He asked me a lot of really funny open-ended questions and I decided to have fun with it. And that's who I am. And so I don't have any second thoughts at all. I had a great time and I think everybody enjoyed it.

CAVUTO: Does it bug you after a while that this is the question that keeps popping up though? You're trying to address serious issues and this weight thing comes up and, you know, constantly.

CHRISTIE: No, it doesn't really bother me, Neil. I told you that right from the beginning. It doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that the governor doesn't step up to the plate and admit what he's doing, and this is pretty typical of Jon Corzine and his leadership style, never taking blame for anything, always passing off blame to someone else, and always anxious to be there to take the credit if something goes well. So that bothers me a heck of a lot more than the words.

CAVUTO: All right. But then when you see ads, of course, on either jogging or he's looking very, very busy, very health-oriented. Obviously, he's — he's trying to imply something, that you're not up to the physical rigors of the job. This is your chance to respond to that.

CHRISTIE: Well, that's just crazy. I mean, for the last seven years, I had one of the most difficult jobs that anybody can have in law enforcement in America, and that's the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey. And I think my record is what's catapulted me into this race and given people the belief I can actually be a good governor.

So those kind of questions are just ridiculous, and if that's what the governor is trying to imply, he never said it when he voted for me in 2001, and he never said it in 2005 when he was falling all over himself to take credit for the great record I was developing as U.S. Attorney when he was running for governor the first time.

So you know, that kind of stuff just falls on deaf ears I think of most people in New Jersey.

CAVUTO: How much, Chris, do you think this election in New Jersey is about bigger things — the national economy, the national spending, the jobless rate at close to 10 percent in New Jersey mirrors what's going on across the country. What do you think of that?

CHRISTIE: Well, listen, I think that there's a lot of national issues that are very, very important to New Jerseyans, but in the end this race is about me and Jon Corzine, Jon Corzine's record over the last four years, my record as U.S. Attorney over the last seven years, and finally, what we intend to do for the future, what hope we can give to the people for the future that our state will be affordable again, that our state will grow private sector jobs again.

I have provided that kind of hope. The governor has just provided more of the same.

CAVUTO: This comes at a time where so many of your residents are connected to the financial industry in New York, many of them commute, or in New Jersey proper. And of course, it's an industry that's still hurting, whose fortunes are tied directly to the improving economy and improving markets. Do you see that changing anytime soon?

CHRISTIE: Well, listen, I think that's just part of our economy. We have a great thriving pharmaceutical industry in our state, and small business has always been the backbone of our state. And so, you know, listen, I think that we can do things to help grow small business again and to attract bigger corporations to our state by lowering taxes and lowering regulation and be poised that when the national economy begins to pick up even more, that we will be able to ride that wave and be in the front of it.

CAVUTO: All right. Now, I know the — the voting polls where you'll be voting tomorrow. You're not far from me. You're a neighbor. Last time, I thought all the television crews were there for me. I was apparently mistaken. That was not the reason.


CAVUTO: Do you know roughly what time tomorrow you are voting, because it's the same place in which I vote.

CHRISTIE: Roughly 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, Neil.

CAVUTO: OK, So 7:05 for me.


CAVUTO: All right, Chris Christie, a real pleasure. I know you have a busy 24 hours ahead of you. Great seeing you again.

CHRISTIE: Neil, I'm looking forward to coming back as governor- elect after tomorrow night.

CAVUTO: All right. We'll be watching closely, Chris. Thank you very much.

Chris Christie.

CHRISTIE: Thanks. Thank you very much.

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