Chris Christie 2016 is just one of many popular suggestions in Google, when you do a search for the New Jersey governor’s name. That's only one sign of many that the candid Republican has legions of fans waiting for the slightest hint that he's eyeing the White House, even if he’s not ready to announce it.
On Monday evening at The Wall Street Journal’s annual CEO Council at the Four Seasons in D.C., Christie still didn’t let on. When probed by the Journal’s Editor-In-Chief Gerard Baker about when he will make a decision on running for president, Christie said, “When I have to. … Don’t know. It depends on what the politics of the world are like then.”
If Christie decides to run in 2016, he'll likely face competition from former first lady Hillary Clinton, if she decides to run. And if you believe the polls, a race between the two for the White House would be tight. Though the next presidential race is three years away, Quinnipiac University conducted an early look at the campaign and found that 43 percent of American voters would support Christie. It’s a 1 percentage point advantage over Clinton, the polling data shows.
If the matchup should happen, Christie has a strategy he thinks any Republican can use to win a national election.
Here’s the answer the governor gave when a CEO in the audience asked what it takes for a Republican to beat Clinton, and if Christie himself can do it:
“I have no idea if I can do it. But listen, I think the question should be broader -- what does it take for a Republican candidate to win? And we have to do better than we’ve done in the last two cycles. We have to reach out to other constituencies that have not voted for us in the past, and we better be doing it now. The fact is, our country is changing, as it always does. And as our country changes demographically, and as it changes economically, people who want to lead first have to understand who they’re asking to lead. And they need to listen to those people. I think leadership is just as much about listening as it about talking. For a Republican, we can’t get the percentages of the Hispanic vote and the African-American vote that we’ve gotten nationally and continue to think that we can be a successful national party. We have to do better. ... We need someone who is going to be clear, direct, authentic and says what they think. And if that’s good enough, it’s good enough, and if it’s not, it’s not.”
Christie snagged 60 percent of the vote earlier this month in his re-election as governor of New Jersey. More than 50 percent of Hispanics, 21 percent of African Americans and 57 percent of women backed Christie, according to exit polls. That’s a much better showing than the Republicans' 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney. Exit polls show that minorities overwhelmingly supported President Barack Obama's re-election, with 93 percent of blacks and 71 percent of Hispanics in the Democratic corner.