Posted on | October 4, 2011 | 70 Comments
UPDATE 1:07 p.m. ET: “Now is not my time,” the New Jersey governor says in his press conference statement. “This is not the time to leave unfinished business. . . . Like it or not, New Jersey, you’re stuck with me.”
In response to reporters’ questions, he says, “It did not feel right” to quit a job he’d worked so hard to get.
UPDATE 1:15 p.m. ET: “I’m not prepared to make any endorsements today,” he says, by which he means, Romney hasn’t asked yet.
UPDATE 1:22 p.m. ET: “I am who I am — there’s not a lot of varnish here,” Christie says. In response to a question, he dismisses talk of himself as the GOP running mate, saying there’s nobody in America who thinks he’s temperamentally suited to being No. 2.
UPDATE 1:27 p.m. ET: Talking of his his conversations with other people who had run for president — including, by inference, the Bushes — Christie says, “No one to me endorsed the joy of running for president.” This rather confirms my suspicion that some Team Bush people (e.g., Bill Kristol) were key figures behind the Christie boomlet.
* * PREVIOUSLY (11:10 a.m. ET) * *
UPDATE: The New Jersey governor has said “no” many times before, but Monday the story got out that he would make an announcement Thursday. Now there is a 1 p.m. press conference scheduled today in Trenton.
UPDATE II: Jonathan Karl of ABC News confirms:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will not run for president, according to a source with direct knowledge of the governor’s thinking.
By deciding not to run Christie is refusing the pleas of many establishment Republicans who have been urging him — even pleading with him to jump into the race. Dozens of high-level GOP donors have been paying visits to Christie since this spring in the hopes of changing his mind. . . .
On Sept. 24 sources close to the Republican governor told ABC News that “the pressure from donors and other people has intensified,” and that the “volume of calls” urging Christie to run had increased.
That was before Christie came face-to-face with some of the big-money GOP contributors who were hoping to lure him into the race during week-long fundraising tour that took him to Missouri, California and Louisiana. But it was at a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., last Tuesday where Christie heard some of the most passionate please to date. . . .
Why did pressure for Christie to run intensify Sept. 24? That was two days after Rick Perry’s meltdown in the Orlando debate, and the same day Herman Cain won the Florida straw poll.
UPDATE III: The Washington Post:
Christie was heavily courted to reconsider by large Republican donors as well as a handful of elected officials and party activists in key states. That recruitment process picked up steam following several mediocre debate performances by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, showings that raised doubts about his ability to unite the party and beat President Obama next fall. . . .
(“Mediocre debate performances”? Like the Hindenburg had a “mediocre” landing at Lakehurst, N.J.)
The lone figure yet to announce her plans for 2012 is former Alaska governor Sarah Palin who has pushed back her timeline to make a decision from September to November.
So unless Sarah gets in, this is the final field. I’m sure
Chris Crocker T.C. Lynch will be relieved.
UPDATE IV: Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:
The only way a late entry will work is with someone with high name recognition and a positive intensity among Republicans, and that’s not the position in which Christie finds himself today.
If Palin would say “no,” we could rally conservatives behind Herman Cain. If Palin would endorse Herman Cain, it would be a full-tilt boogie all the way to the nomination in Tampa. But as long as Palin is a “maybe,” there will be tens of thousands of grassroots conservatives waiting and praying for her to say “yes.”
UPDATE V: Headline of the day by Gabriel Malor at AOSHQ:
- Oct. 3: Attention, Bandwagon Jumpers: All Aboard the Fatty McAwesome Express!
- Sept. 28: Like Chris Crocker and Britney
- Sept. 24: Dear Bill Kristol …