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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, being prodded by some conservatives to make a U.S. presidential run in 2012, said in an interview he believed he could win the Republican nomination but was not ready to be president.
"I have people calling me and saying to me 'Let me explain to you how you could win.' And I'm like, 'You're barking up the wrong tree. I already know I could win.' That's not the issue," Christie said in an interview released on the National Review Online, when asked if he could be the Republican nominee.
"But I've got to believe I'm ready to be president, and I don't," Christie said.
Christie has said repeatedly he does not feel ready for the highest U.S. office, but has not said so firmly he felt he could lead the Republican field.
"I see the opportunity both at the primary level and at the general election level. I see the opportunity," he said in the interview.
Christie drew national attention as a corruption-busting U.S. attorney who won convictions or guilty pleas against a number of public officials. He has since proved to be a popular governor in a traditionally Democratic state, despite strong stands against abortion and gay marriage.
Several big-name Republicans are maneuvering for the party's nomination to take on President Barack Obama, a Democrat, in the 2012 election.
Washington World Desk