Chris Christie Rejects 2016 Bid Speculation At RGA Chairmanship Acceptance Conference
Seeking to put aside speculation regarding a presidential bid in 2016, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie spoke against rumors, adding that said speculation only hurts the Republican party’s broader strategy. The GOP favorite assumed chairmanship of the Republican Governor’s Association and spoke at its annual conference in Arizona on Thursday.
The RGA is a Republican group working to “help elect Republicans to governorships throughout the nation,” according to its official website.
“We have 36 [gubernatorial] races and 20 incumbent governors standing in 2014 and anyone of us in our individual capacity or as leaders of this organization start thinking about 2016 at our own peril and worse, at the peril of our colleagues,” said Christie. “My focus is going to be on raising funds to get their stories out. 2016 is a long way away and I am two weeks out of a campaign. I am not looking to start speculating about other campaigns already.”
Governor Bobby Jindal, formerly the chairman of the RGA, echoed Christie’s sentiments regarding 2016 gossip. “I know everybody in this room wants to do a story on 2016,” he said. “The way you win is you win the next election, not the next, next election. Let’s go win those elections.”
Nevertheless, the New Jersey governor—who became reelected in a landslide victory earlier this month—is already ahead in presidential polls, edging over New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a poll of New York voters conducted by Siena College.
Ohio Governor John Kasich, also a potential contender for 2016, spoke in favor of Christie, calling the charismatic Garden State governor “a force” and that “people want to be around him.”
“It’s called celebrity,” said Kasich. “And in case you haven’t noticed, that’s a big darn deal in America today.”