WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Jr. repeated on Sunday that he had no plans to pursue a bid for the Republican 2012 presidential nomination.
Christie, who in his one year as the Garden state’s executive officer has made sweeping policy changes to handle a wide budget deficit, has attracted calls among Republicans to run, even as he has drawn criticism from groups like teacher unions over his efforts to cut spending.
So far Christie has consistently kept away from encouraging such calls, despite some polls that show him doing better that other Republicans against President Barack Obama.
“You have to believe in your heart that you are personally ready to be president and I’m not there,” the former federal attorney said in an interview on Fox News Sunday.
For now, Christie is focusing on his budget battles, reforming education, and limiting the power of local governments in his state.
“I have a commitment to my state,” he said. “I have been governor for a year. New Jersey’s problems are not fixed. I don’t think I can help New Jersey more in the White house; I can help it more in the State house.”
However, he did not completely rule out the idea of a presidential run at some point.
“I think every year that you have as governor, (an) executive position in a big state like New Jersey, would make you better prepared to be president.”
“If I were ever to run for the presidency, I want to make sure that in my heart I feel ready.”
Reporting by Wendell Marsh; Editing by Jerry Norton