NEW YORK, Sept 26 New Jersey Governor Chris
Christie's No. 2 on Monday knocked down fresh speculation that
the Republican was considering a run for the White House in
Reports that Christie might run have been swirling for
months, fueled by dissatisfaction among some Republicans with
the current field of 2012 hopefuls as conservatives seek a
candidate who can unseat Democratic President Barack Obama.
The latest speculation increased on Monday when former New
Jersey Governor Tom Kean said Christie is thinking "very
seriously" about entering the presidential race.
But New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, who would
become the state's governor if Christie vacated the office,
emphatically denied he was running.
"The governor is not running for president," she told
reporters in the state capital, Trenton.
ABC reported Rick Gorka, a spokesman for the New Jersey
Republican Party who is traveling with Christie, as saying:
"Nothing has changed with regards to the governor's decision
not to run for president in 2012."
Kean, an informal longtime adviser to Christie, told the
National Review Online on Monday: "He's giving it a lot of
thought. I think the odds are a lot better now than they were a
couple weeks ago."
"More and more people are talking to him," Kean said. "He's
getting appeals from major figures around the country."
Kean, who could not immediately be reached, did not predict
if Christie will enter the race or not.
Conservative Republicans are wary of Republican
presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, complaining he lacks charisma
and that some of his policies when he was governor of
Massachusetts were too liberal.
Recent entrant Texas Governor Rick Perry, the front-runner,
is a favorite of the conservative Tea Party movement but some
fear he lacks the discipline needed for a successful national
Christie, known for his blunt style, dampened talk of his
run over the summer, insisting he was not ready to be
He has been a rising star in the Republican Party since
taking office in New Jersey last year with a low-tax,
lean-government agenda, and erasing a record $11 billion budget
deficit while limiting annual increases in the state's high
(Reporting by Mark Egan and Dave Warner in Philadelphia,
editing by Eric Beech)