Chris Christie will not have the timing of his decision on whether to run for the Republican presidential nomination impacted by last week's announcement by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush that he is considering a run, the New Jersey governor said on Monday night.
"Is it right for me? Is it right for my family? Is it right for the country ... If I answer 'yes' to all three of those things then I will run. If I don't answer 'yes' to all three then I won't," he told the New Jersey public television network NJTV.
When host Steve Adubato followed up with a question about whether Bush's decision would impact his own, he wryly replied, "It's not one of the three questions."
His remarks are reminiscent of those he made after the midterm elections when he noted on CNN that "unless I can answer yes to all three, I won't run."
He added that his decision will not be impacted by "anyone else's timetable."
According to the most recent aggregation of GOP presidential polls
, Christie finds himself in third place with 10.4 percent of the vote behind Bush (15.2) and former vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (10.8).
Some political observers believe that Bush's decision will have an impact on Christie's chances, particularly because it hamstrings his ability to raise money.
“I don’t think Christie doesn’t run. I just don’t think he’s going to get all that Bush money,” Republican consultant and veteran of Ronald Reagan's 1984 campaign Ed Rollins told NJ.com
"I think Gov. Christie is being honest when he says he has to get the full agreement of his family. They’re very close. But Jeb Bush will take some supporters from every candidate who has been mentioned, and maybe become front runner. So everyone thinking of running will have to take that into consideration," former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, a Republican, said during a teleconference last week, according to NJ.com
In his live interview with Adubato, Christie reiterated his objection to President Barack Obama failing to demand the extradition of Joanne Chesimard, who was convicted of the execution-style murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and fled to Cuba 30 years ago.
The FBI has placed her on its Top Ten Most Wanted Terrorists list.
On Monday, the head of Cuba’s North American affairs, Josefina Vidal, said Chesimard would not be returned to the U.S. and that “every nation has sovereign and legitimate rights to grant political asylum to people it considers to have been persecuted," the Associated Press reported
Asked for a response to Vidal's assertion, Christie said Obama was wrong not to demand her release and that the statement was "proof" of how wrong his decision was.
"So Joanne Chesimard, a cold-blooded cop killer, convicted by a jury of her peers, in what is without question the fairest and most just criminal justice system in the world — certainly much more just than anything that's happened in Cuba under the Castro brothers. She is now, according to an official of the Cuban government
, persecuted," he said.
Christie also weighed in on the tensions in New York City following the murder of two police officers over the weekend, saying that "it may be time for everybody in this region, and around the country, to take a deep breath and to think about the loss that’s been suffered by these two families."
"And to take some time out to pray for them and for their families. And I think the rest of it – there’s plenty of time for us to discuss it but, I’m not going to be someone who’s going to participate in this at the moment. I’d rather allow these police officers to be laid to rest, let these families grieve and have all of us as a society think about what that means," he added.
Watch the video here
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