In a wide-ranging interview with Oprah Winfrey, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has kind words for President Barack Obama, calling him “charismatic,” “genuine” and “as good a politician as I’ve ever seen.”
Winfrey, who is a well-known friend of the Obama family, asked Christie what he thought of the president’s reelection chances. The New Jersey Republican responded with a raft of compliments, according to the AP, which has obtained a full transcript of the interview.
“Those who underestimate Barack Obama, underestimate him at their own peril. He’s as good a politician as I’ve ever seen,” Christie said. “I think he’s very charismatic. And I think he’s genuine. I think what he says he believes, he believes. That’s a very dangerous politician.”
But the governor also said in the interview, set to air this Sunday, that the president is to blame for not facilitating a truce between the two parties in Congress.
“The only person who can call a truce, when Congress is at war at itself, is the president,” Christie said, according to a video clip posted on Oprah’s website.
“I work with Democrats, and we fight like crazy in public, but then we get in a room together and say, ‘there is a boulevard between getting everything I want and compromising my principles.’ I won’t compromise my principles, but I acknowledge I won’t get everything that I want. That’s what’s not happening in Washington right now. The only person that can make that happen is the president,” he added.
Christie also revealed to Oprah that he would be much more ready to run for president in 2016 than he was in this election cycle, noting that his “true compass” just didn’t signal that he was ready for a 2012 bid.
“Is that compass telling you that you may be ready four years from now?” Winfrey asked.
“Who knows? It depends on who wins. Is the president re-elected? Does a Republican win? I don’t know,” Christie said, reports the AP. “But in terms of me, I’ll be much more ready four years from now than I am now.”
The New Jersey Republican also spoke candidly about his personal troubles with weight, saying that he had developed “a shell about it” to manage criticism on the issue.