Chris Christie calls time on bid to be Republican presidential candidate
Wednesday 05 October 2011
Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor, yesterday said he would not run for the Republican nomination, dashing the hopes of party activists unenthused by Mitt Romney, the most likely opponent of President Barack Obama next year.
"Now is not my time," the 49-year-old Mr Christie told a press conference. "Over the last week I've thought long and hard, but the deciding factor was that it didn't feel right to me in my gut. I made a commitment to the people of New Jersey, who elected me to get a job done, and I'm not prepared to walk away."
So, with the humour and bluntness that made him so appealing to many Republicans, he added : "Whether you like it or not, New Jersey, you're stuck with me."
Speculation about a Christie candidacy began months ago, but he insisted he would not run, declaring over and over again that he "wasn't ready". But in recent weeks, pleas from party strategists and fundraisers intensified, reaching fever pitch when he delivered a speech at the Ronald Reagan library in California. "We need you, your country needs you," one woman in the audience told him. Mr Christie then said he was reconsidering his refusal. But yesterday he made clear that the reasons that stopped him throwing his hat into the ring had not changed: "It was always a long shot I would change my mind."
In fact, the difficulties had if anything multiplied. The first primary votes, in Iowa and New Hampshire, are barely three months away, leaving little time to raise money, hire advisers and get a state-by-state campaign organisation in place.
Nor was there any guarantee of victory. A Washington Post poll gave the New Jersey governor only 10 per cent of potential votes, behind Mr Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, on 25 per cent. The Texas governor Rick Perry and businessman Herman Cain tied for second with 16 per cent apiece.
Mr Christie did leave open the prospect of a White House run one day. But as far as 2012 is concerned, about the only potential contender who could have an impact now is Sarah Palin. But according to the poll, two thirds of Republicans want her to stay out of the race.
The main beneficiary of the New Jersey governor's decision is likely to be Mr Romney, with whom Mr Christie would have competed for the votes of more moderate Republicans.
Perry's Confederate spat
Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry has faced criticism for defending controversial Confederate symbols.
The Texas governor – whose popularity as a runner in the Republican race has halved over the past month - opposed a campaign to prevent Southern state houses from flying the Confederate flag 11 years ago because Americans "should never forget our history".
He continues to defend the symbol. Confederate colours are widely seen as discriminatory, prompting critics to accuse Mr Perry of showing a lack of sensitivity towards race issues.
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 3 Black Friday 2014: Opening hours for John Lewis, Asda, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 4 Bill Cosby: Isn’t it obvious why his accusers have stayed silent up until now?
- 5 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Sarah Vine on Jack Monroe being a lesbian mother: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
Black Friday 2014: Opening hours for John Lewis, Asda, PC World, GAME and Argos
Michael Brown shooting: Ten things we know – or know better – now the Ferguson grand jury's work is over
Ferguson riots: The most powerful images to emerge from protests over Michael Brown killing
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CHESHIRE MARKET TOWN - An exciting and rare o...
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...
£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...
£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...