Chris Christie appeared on five morning news shows on Wednesday
He leads a campaign group that works to elect GOP governors, which had big success Tuesday
Christie said he still hasn't made a decision on 2016
Following a big night for Republican gubernatorial candidates, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took a victory lap Wednesday morning with interviews on all five major news networks, where he brushed off questions about 2016 and defended his recent shout-down of a heckler.
Here’s a few messages he tried to push:
1. He says he hasn’t made a decision on running for president: The political calendar is now focused on the next presidential election, but Christie appeared no more closer to making a decision on 2016.
Pressed by CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day” to elaborate on his own thought process and the public pressure he’s facing to run, Christie didn’t budge.
“I’ll make this decision based on my own time table and not on anybody else’s,” he said.
As chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Christie helped raise more than $100 million in the past year and Republicans gained multiple governorships Tuesday night, while still others have yet to be called.
Asked how he can say no to 2016 after having a successful year, Christie said: “I don’t know that you’d say ‘no’.”
“But I haven’t said yes,” he continued. “That’s a big difference.”
On ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Christie said the past year of traveling gave him and his family a better feel for what a national campaign would be like that. But is it fair to say he’s closer to a 2016 run, asked George Robert Stephanopoulos.
“No, not fair to say,” Christie said. “It’s fair to say that what I’m looking for is a nap.”
2. He doesn’t regret yelling at the heckler: Even some Republicans — including Mitt Romney, Bobby Jindal and Rand Paul — argued Christie’s sharp reaction to a heckler last week wasn’t the best way to handle the situation.
But Christie said he has no regrets. Asked on CNN and NBC whether he thinks he’ll be able to control his Jersey temperament if he runs for president, Christie took issue with the premise.
“Why would anybody think that what I did last night wasn’t controlled, first off? Why would they think that I didn’t do exactly what I wanted to do?” he said on CNN.
Christie said on almost all the shows that he wouldn’t do it differently if he’s interrupted like that again and thinks his style will play just fine in other states
“I’m going to be myself. If I decide to run for something and that’s not good enough, then that’s not good enough,” he said. I’m not going to change who I am–not for anybody”
Asked on NBC whether he might at least try to “hide” that part of his personality, Christie candidly replied, “There’s no hope for that.”
3. He says he’s not trying to take credit for Tuesday night’s success: Christie was strategic in trying to keep the candidates in the spotlight Wednesday morning, saying on NBC that “the candidates deserve the credit – it’s always about the candidates.”
When Gayle King on CBS asked if his morning show appearances could be called a victory lap, Christie said with a straight face: “You can certainly call it an acknowledgment of a lot of hard work by a lot of great governors.”
The sweetest personal victory for him, he said on CBS, was Gov. Paul LePage’s re-election victory in Maine. But he added that Republican pickups in blue states like Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois were also great.
“I love that map this morning,” he said on Fox News. “It looks absolutely fabulous.”
He didn’t hesitate to take some shots at Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who’s openly considering a 2016 presidential run, saying the GOP’s win in Maryland is a rejection of O’Malley’s policies of “high taxes and big spending.”
“Even for Maryland it got to be too much,” Christie said on CBS.
4. Tuesday night was also a message to Obama: Christie said on Fox News that Tuesday night’s results were a “a reflection of the president’s lack of leadership.”
“The biggest emotion I saw (when traveling) was anxiety,” he said. “We used to control events, now events control us.”
He argued that “the president needs to step up and finally lead and work and compromise” with the new Republican majority in Congress.