Christie presidential run speculation discussed at debate

WAYNE – Gov. Chris Christie’s possible presidential aspirations took center stage Tuesday evening at the state’s first gubernatorial debate.

And no, Christie didn’t announce he’s running.

But the question was posed to the governor by debate moderator Kristine Johnson.

“What an unusual question,” Christie quipped. “I didn’t anticipate that at all.”

Christie told the moderator and audience of about 1,000 people at William Paterson University that he is not prepared to declare tonight that he’s running or not running for president in 2016. And it shouldn’t weigh on New Jersey voters’ minds, Christie said, explaining he can “walk and chew gum at the same time” and that if people like what he’s done in his time in office then they should support him for re-election.

But Sen. Barbara Buono saw it as an opportunity to pounce.

“What bothers me is how you’re running for president,” she said, arguing the governor is “sacrificing the safety of our children” by catering to the National Rifle Association and “sacrificing the health of our women” by hammering Planned Parenthood.

“The only person obsessed with 2016 on this stage is Sen. Buono,” responded Christie.

Christie presidential run speculation discussed at debate