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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said -- for real this time -- that he is not running for the Republican presidential nomination next year.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said -- for sure this time -- that he is not running for the Republican presidential nomination next year.
"Now is not my time," Christie said at a highly anticipated appearance in Trenton on Tuesday.
The outspoken former state attorney general, in his first term as New Jersey's governor, had repeatedly said he would not run, but began to waver in recent days.
Last week after traveling outside New Jersey for several political appearances, including a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library, Christie began reconsidering his initial decision, he said.
Christie said he could not ignore the pleas amid so many people encouraging him to run.
"I felt an obligation to earnestly consider their advice," he said.
But in the end, Christie said, he arrived at the same place -- New Jersey has unfinished business. He said he reached the decision Monday night.
"The deciding factor was -- it did not feel right to me in my gut to leave now, when the job here is not finished," Christie said.
The Christie-for-president storyline has often been accompanied by pundits and others wondering whether voters would support an overweight president.
In response to questions Tuesday, Christie said he has not been bothered by late-night comedians' jokes about his weight, but said it is not a fair issue when considering presidential potential.
"To say that because you're overweight, you're therefore undisciplined ... that kind of stuff is just ignorant," he said.
Christie has answered questions about his presidential potential almost since he was sworn in in 2010.
Asked in a televised interview in June 2010 about the possibility of a "President Christie," he said "it's not going to happen... I simply do not have the desire to do it, nor do I think I'm ready."
A month later, he said he was "100 percent certain" he would not run next year, adding that he was making the decision "based on whether I believe in my heart that I'm ready to be president of the United States."
Mounting a presidential campaign at this late date would have been a difficult undertaking. Christie has not spent time in the early primary states, and the first nominating contests are just months away.