New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made it official – again – this afternoon. He said he would not be seeking the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2012.
“No matter how many times I was asked the question, for me the answer was never anything but ‘No,'” Christie said.
“It wasn’t until recently that I paused in my decision… Over the last few weeks I’ve thought long and hard about this decision,” Christie said. “Now is not my time.”
“My loyalty to this state is what it is,” Christie said. “New Jersey, whether you like or not, you’re stuck with me,” he said.
Christie had come under pressure by many in the Republican base to jump in to the 2012 race for the White House. Despite his numerous “No’s,” he recently had been meeting with family members and advisers, reconsidering his decision not to seek the Republican nomination.
Christie said he was motivated to reconsider getting into the race due to the earnest entreaties he was getting from across the nation. The first-term Republican governor was being wooed for his national star power and no-nonsense public persona.
“In the end, my commitment to the state tops all else,” Christie said.
Christie said he had the complete support of his family, and discussed the possibility of entering the race with them. Christie said they told him they’d support his decision to go for it, if he wanted to. But after thinking further about it, Christie said he was not prepared to jump in due to his prior commitment.
“I don’t feel any regret at all,” Christie said. “In the end, I came back to the same place I was in last year. I don’t want to leave this job. I made a commitment to the people of New Jersey.”
Christie turned some of his fire on President Barack Obama.
“This is an example of someone who has failed the leadership test,” Christie said.
Earlier Tuesday, yet another Republican called for him to get into the race: Ohio Gov. John Kasich called for Christie to jump in.
The Columbus Dispatch reports Kasich called Christie to encourage him to run. Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols tells the paper the Ohio governor thinks Christie would be a good candidate.
At Rutgers University, political science professor Ross Baker has said Christie’s previous “No’s” made it effectively impossible for him get in the race.
“It’s so hard to back down from these categorical denials that he would consider suicide rather than a candidacy,” Baker said.