TRENTON – Governor Chris Christie was back to form today during a press conference at the State House where he openly answered questions from press on topics like his failed presidential run, his now-infamous Super Tuesday facial expressions, his endorsement of Donald Trump for president and the subsequent calls for him to resign.
“I am here today to answer every one of your questions,” said Governor Christie somewhat combatively to the room packed with reporters eager to ask questions.
During Christie’s remarks the governor addressed that, while he endorses Donald Trump for President, he is not planning on being out of state extensively to support him despite recent criticism from both Republicans and Democrats that he should resign from his office if he planned to continue to campaign for Trump out of state.
“I am not a full time surrogate for Donald Trump,” Christie said. “I am an endorser for Donald Trump.”I left the presidential race 22 days ago, by my count,” Christie said. “I have been in the state for 19 of those 22 days and I have been working.”
The Governor said that he has no concrete plans to leave New Jersey to campaign for Trump in the near future. In fact, he said that his only plan to leave New Jersey in the coming weeks was on Tuesday of next week “for a couple of days” in order to celebrate his 30th anniversary with his wife, Mary Pat. While he said that he is sure he will leave the state to campaign with Trump during the remainder of the presidential campaign, no plans are made for now.
“This Saturday, there are four primaries and I will be home,” Christie said. “This is not my campaign. This is Donald Trump’s campaign. I will do what I can consistent with my duties at home. I am not going to campaign, I am going to do my job.”
When reporters brought up editorials written by both Gannett and the Star Ledger calling for a Christie resignation, the Governor said he was “not surprised” due to the fact that the papers had not supported him throughout his career. He also said that he has no intention to resign despite calls from those papers to do so. According to Christie, he intends to stay in office until the end of his term next January. The governor said he is also not currently pursuing “any other public office” despite the significant speculation that his alignment with Trump stems from a desire to ensure his political future and become Vice President, Attorney General or be appointed to a cabinet position.
Christie also referenced his take as a social media sensation with #ChristieFace following his appearance at Trump’s side at Super Tuesday.
“All these armchair psychiatrists should give it a rest,” he said. “I don’t know what I was supposed to do. I was standing there listening to him. He was answering questions from the national press corps and I was listening. This is part of the hysteria. No I wasn’t held hostage. No I wasn’t thinking ‘What have I done?’”
Additionally, Christie had some sharp words for both Senate President Steve Sweeney and the press following the reaction to his nomination of David Bauman for the state Supreme Court last week. According to Christie, the backlash from press after the announcement for not taking off-topic questions was unwarranted. Christie said that that day was about the nominee, not politics.
Sweeney recently released a statement claiming that Christie’s nomination of the Republican judge was “packing the court” and that he would not receiving a hearing.
“Senate President Sweeney is not telling the truth,” said Christie. He claimed that, because one of the judges is politically unaffiliated, blocking the nomination is standing in the way of the judicial process.
Christie also addressed how, if Speaker Vincent Prieto does not agree with the Senate President and Christie’s plan for Atlantic City, he will be responsible for what happens in the municipality.
“I am doing everything I can to try and help Atlantic City,” Christie said. “If the Speaker doesn’t want that, that is his decision.”
Additionally, Christie addressed New Jersey’s recent drop in unemployment, his recent veto of a lead remediation bill being due to it being “supplemental spending”, a need for tax fairness for New Jersey residents, how his friendship with Trump has led him to the conclusion that he is the best of the remaining candidates and Mitt Romney’s recent call for voters to be wary of Trump and select another candidate.
“I don’t think Republicans do well by telling voters they are wrong,” Christie said.