New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is doing what just about every soon-to-be presidential candidate has done this cycle. He’s visited Iowa and New Hampshire. He has super PACs raising as much money as they can for a potential White House bid. And, less than a week before he is expected to announce, he’s denying he has even made up his mind whether to run.
In his monthly Ask the Governor radio interview with NJ101.5, Christie said, “There's been absolutely no final decision made by me. There's lots of people who speculate lots of things, and I can't be held to account for every bit of speculation that's in the press.”
If that is true, and if reports that Christie is planning a June 30 announcement in his hometown of Livingston, New Jersey, are true, then the governor has just five days to make up his mind about running for the presidency. Christie is one of a few major potential candidates remaining that have not put their hat in an already large ring of Republican presidential hopefuls.
Should he run, the landscape will look a lot different from the runup to 2012 when he was seen as shoo-in for his party’s nomination. Christie has some ground to make up: He has been plagued by scandal over the last year and a half, and is currently polling ninth nationally, seven points behind the front-runner, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, according to an average of polls from Real Clear Politics.
In January 2014, news broke that Christie administration officials had ordered lane closures on the George Washington Bridge connecting Manhattan and northern New Jersey, resulting in hours-long traffic jams. The lane closures were found to be unnecessary and were seen as political retribution. Although a connection to Christie himself has not been found, his administration has been the focus of federal prosecutors investigating the so-called bridgegate scandal.