Amid White House Rumors, Christie Meets NJ Guard

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Gov. Chris Christie meets with the New Jersey National Guard Sunday amid speculation he'll seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

    All eyes were fixed on Gov. Chris Christie as he met Sunday with New Jersey National Guard members and stayed away from news reporters.

    Christie walked past a cordoned-off crowd of reporters and ignored questions about whether he would run for president.

    The "will he or won't he" debate began in earnest late last week when sources confirmed the governor was seriously considering a run for president after what he felt was a strong outpouring of support during appearances throughout the country last week.

    "I think there's massive desperation in the Republican primary," said political analyst Julie Roginsky. "Mitt Romney has not caught on. Rick Perry, the great Republican hope of two weeks ago, has imploded."

    But Roginsky also believes the Republican governor of a largely Democratic state will have his challenges.

    A presidential run for Christie, a father of four, would mean leaving New Jersey and traveling across the country, stumping and fundraising.

    On "Meet the Press," governors of other states weighed in on his potential candidacy.

    "He's been governor for New Jersey for a year and a half, two years, and I think the state unemployment rate is still higher even than the national average," said Democratic Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. "It's some unfinished work in New Jersey in order to have proof points for the  for the case he wants to make."

    "I'd be surprised if he got in, " said Virginia Republican Governor Bob McDonnell. "We've got 90 days until the caucuses start in Iowa. I think Chris is probably feeling that pressure to make a decision immediately."

    Still, Christie has a growing list of wealthy donors and powerful supporters. Residents of New Jersey who did not necessarily vote for him were curious about a possible run.

    "Some Social Services have suffered but he's balanced the budget, so I'm going to have to wait and see," said Anne Chandler, of Jersey City.

    "I guess he has a very adamant point of view about a lot of things and he definitely shows leadership, and I think that's something Americans are looking for right now," said Han Lee of Jersey City.

    The governor had traveled to Sea Girt for a private breakfast with veterans and national guardsmen. He also attended a ceremony featuring fly-overs by Black Hawk helicopters, F-16 fighter planes and a 19-gun salute.

    Christie has long resisted calls from party activists and leaders who urged him to seek the GOP nomination. But those close to the first-term governor say he's been reconsidering his decision.