Chris Christie is getting the kind of face time from presidential aspirants usually reserved for Iowa farmers.
The New Jersey governor, who once joked that only his suicide would convince reporters he’s not running for president in 2012, told CNBC’s Larry Kudlow that he’s had recent meetings with Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels and Tim Pawlenty — and he thinks they’re all good governors.
“They are all really credible folks,” Christie said, calling Daniels among the brightest governors in America and saying he had “extreme respect” for Barbour.
This after the news that Christie had likely candidate Mitt Romney over for dinner at the governor’s mansion in Princeton. Christie said none of the meetings shouldn’t be interpreted as signs that he’s backing a particular candidate.
“We’re far away from making any kind of decision on who we might support for president,” he said.
And in the same interview, Christie reiterated his intention to stay out of the race, citing a pledge he made to Garden State voters.
“I have big things to accomplish here, and that does not include leaving and running for national office,” he said.