CNBC’s John Harwood asks New Jersey Governor Chris Christie if he’s leaning towards running for president in 2016 at CNBC’s Delivering Alpha Conference.
We will be covering the conference – sign up for our newsletter to ensure you get all the updates.
Chris Christie: Not thinking presidential run now
i know you haven’t decided and if you have i wouldn’t expect you to announce it here. that’s good. knowing what you know right now are you leaning towards it? are you thinking it’s likely to happen? this is another way of asking the question, isn’t it? yes. are you leaning? yeah. it’s another way to ask the question. no i’m not leaning. i’m not leaning in any way. i’m not giving it a lot of thought. i’m chairman of the republican governor’s association. my job is to elect as many republican governors as i can. i don’t have a 527 or a super p.a.c. or a c 4. we’re in the second half of 2014. if you’re going to do it — i’m aware. listen, let’s face it the folks who are leaning or actually doing stuff right now are oftentimes who folks don’t know that well. i suffer from a lot of things, that’s not one of them. i’m in no rush to make those decisions. i got a pretty busy day job as governor of new jersey and i’ve got, you know, a busy job politically as chairman of the rga. 37 governor races across the country. when do you have to decide? end of this year beginning of next. zion my own. whether i would tell you or anybody else at that point i’m not so sure about the timing of that. that’s more of a political judgment than it is a core judgment about whether you really want to do that or not. i’ve been clear. i certainly will consider it but whether i do it or not is something i honestly don’t know yet. i think people say that all the time. and folks are fairly cynical. oh, yeah he knows what he’s going to do. i don’t know what i’m going to do. if you have four relatively younger children like we have from 20 to 11, there’s a lot to consider in doing this on a personal level. putting aside the politics. so, you know, we’ll decide. i’ll decide coming year. let’s talk about your party
Chris Christie: Just be yourself
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie discusses divides in the GOP, saying the democrats have the “same problems.”
let’s talk about your party and what you or any presidential candidate faces if they decide to lead that party nationally. pew research center did a study and on the republican side you have a split between your business republicans who are all the people in this room, and your populace or tea party republicans, these guys have the money, the populace group has more votes. when you look attitudes on issues there are stark divisions. populists say international trade is bad for the country. business republicans say it’s good. populists say don’t even think about cutting social security. business republicans say of course we have to do that. immigration, populists say it’s bad. homosexuality the populist wing says not okay. people in this room, business republicans say it’s okay. how to you knit those together? carefully. listen, i think the only way to knit them together is to be yourself. every time you try to go towards one side of the party or another and the democrats have the same problems. just on different topics but the same problems. there’s always divides inside any vibrant political movement. the way to do is just be yourself. say here’s what i believe in. and, you know, try to convince people if what they are looking for is a candidate that they agree 100% of the time what they need to do is go home and look in the mirror. they are it. you are the only person you agree with 100% of the time on these issues. don’t try to be that. if you try to do that they will perceive you as a phoney and the reason they do that it’s because you are. so you shouldn’t look in their eyes and tell her i want to tell her what she wants to hear and pray to god she forgets when do i the opposite. own up to what your position are. say what they are. if that’s not good enough to win then you don’t want a governor under those circumstances anyway because you have to remember who you pretended to be yesterday and that’s not the way to govern. it’s complicated enough without trying to figure that out too.
Chris Christie: US has wretched tax system
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie shares three ways the government can raise the standards of living for U.S. citizens, and help develop a vibrant economy.
we know and we’re beginning to feel again that we can make an economy produce high stock values, high corporate profits, do very well for the people who are best off in the country, the most educated. but if you were elected president, what do you do to raise the living standards of average people in this country, what’s the right approach for that? first off, the premise of the question if i were elected president pre-supposes i would actually run. it’s another way to get me into that topic. forget the president part. i would say say listen there are certain principles that help to create a vibrant economy. and i think things that we’re not doing at the moment. first off, we have a wretched tax system on the individual and corporate levels. including my state which disincentivize growth and job creation and which make us less competitive with the rest of the world. the fact is we need to get around the table and redo this tax system which i think is one of the real wet blankets on our economy. secondly, you need go through regulatory reform. in new jersey, we’ve eliminated a third of the regulations that existed and put into place by my predecessor, by governor corzine. i hear from businesses across our state what a relief that has been for them and how much easier it is to conduct business and our water and air is cleaner and there’s nothing awful happening in new jersey because we’ve decided to do regulation in a common sense way. we need to look at that federally as well if you want a vibrant growing economy in that direction. third is improving our educational system. the fact is we’ve gone from 20th to 30th in math. we’ve now gone from 10 toth 20th in reading amongst the industrialized nations. if you think we can continue that trend and