Christie denies meddling in N.Y. gubernatorial race

TRENTON – New Jersey’s governor threw cold water on published reports indicating he was preparing to back a potential challenger to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Gov. Chris Christie says he was “stunned” to read reports from New York news outlets that indicated Christie was ready to back Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino for governor if the GOP county official launched a challenge against Cuomo, the Democratic incumbent.

The New York Post reported Christie, the new head of the Republican Governors Association, and Astorino met in Arizona to discuss the possibility of Astorino challenging Cuomo. New York’s governor later dismissed the reports and told reporters that Christie told him they were inaccurate.

Today, Christie said the accounts grossly mischaracterized the nature of the sit down.

“He has not said he’s running for governor. He didn’t indicate to me that night that he was running for governor,” Christie said during a Monday afternoon news conference in Trenton.

“He didn’t seek support,” he said. “The nature of our meeting … was essentially me and Mary Pat with Rob [Astorino] and his wife asking us about what it was like to both run for governor with young children and to serve as governor with young children.”

Christie said the erroneous information was leaked to reporters by people close to Astorino who are urging him to run.

However, Christie explained things are subject to change if and when Republicans nominate someone to challenge the Democratic incumbent.

“That is what happened in Arizona. Now, let me be clear about going forward. As RGA chairman, we’re going to elect Republican governors in every state,” he said. “And once that’s cleared up in New York as to who the Republican candidate might be, then we’ll make an assessment at the RGA about the worthiness of investing in that race. But, we’ve been pretty clear about not getting involved in primaries.”

Christie denies meddling in N.Y. gubernatorial race