New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday was back in Iowa, home to the first caucus in the presidential primary, as he weighs jumping into the race.
Christie attended the inauguration of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad as part of a tour of swearing-in ceremonies for GOP governors he helped elect as chair of the Republican Governors Association. He attended private meetings before heading back home.
“We’re not voting in Iowa here for nearly 13 months. So let’s everybody take a deep breath,” Christie said. “I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel the need to rush something as serious as deciding if you want to run for the president of the United States.”
At his monthly radio show Thursday, Christie said he’s been delivering a message to potential donors and staffers urging him to jump head-first into a campaign for president: Relax.
“Listen, there’s lots of people making lots of suggestions to me about the best way for me to continue to get to know the country better and to get input from people around the country about both me and those folks around me,” he said. “So there’s a whole bunch of different options on the table, but I haven’t made any final decisions about what to do.”
But Christie insisted that the moves by Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney have not had an impact on his timeline or decision-making and urged his would-be backers to stay calm.
“What I’ve told everybody — supports of mine, potential donors of mine, staff — is relax. You know, no one’s voting for another 12-and-a-half months,” he said. “Everybody just calm down, you know?”
Christie shot back at critics who have said he is spending too much time out of the state.
“The people who do that are just the same partisan hacks who wake up every morning wanting to criticize me about something,” he said.