Christie: Focused on Storm, Not 2016

Photograph by Kevin R. Wexler-Pool/Getty Images

New Jersy Gov. Chris Christie tries to comfort superstorm Sandy victims on November 1, 2012 in Moonachie, New Jersey.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stood before reporters for about 20 minutes this morning before The Question popped up.

Reporters dutifully listened to him tick off how the state is preparing for an impending Nor’easter, arriving with snow soon in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy — they even asked a few questions about it.

But he couldn’t get away from The Question.

As in: with President Barack Obama’s reelection setting the table for 2016, will he seek the White house next go’round?

“I’m dealing with a storm today,” Christie quipped when asked what he’d tell those that want to draft him. “I have a job to do here in New Jersey, and I think I’ve shown over the last week or two that it’s my No. One commitment.”

Christie, 50, said his mother recognized his ambitions early and worried.

Her advice? Concentrate on the task in front of you, and let the rest unfold.

“I’m going to do the job I have now as best as I can – do the first things first,” he said, “and my future, whatever it is, will take care of itself.”

(The election taking care of itself also is what Obama had to say about Nov. 6 when he joined Christie in post-storm disaster assessments.)

The outspoken Republican governor vexed some in his party last week with his praise for Obama’s response to Sandy, which has been blamed for at least 24 deaths in New Jersey. Yesterday he blamed disgruntled Romney staffers for planting a story that he’d snubbed them days before the election. “It was hardly an embrace,” he said.

Today, Christie said he hadn’t yet spoken to Romney, whom he said has spent six years seeking the presidency and needs time with his family to process the results. He called Romney a `good and decent man” and said he hopes he stays involved in politics and policy.

“You all know that I traveled around a lot and worked hard for him,” said the governor, who delivered the keynote address for the former governor of Massachusetts at the Republican National Convention this year.

“So I was extraordinarily disappointed last night. I was surprised that it ended as quickly as it did but that’s the way it goes — people decide elections,” Christie said to about two-dozen reporters gathered at a firehouse on storm-battered Long Beach Island. “I’m not going to spend a lot of time looking in the rear-view mirror, it doesn’t make much sense and it’s not productive.”






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