Presidential candidate Gov. Chris Christie told NBC’s Matt Lauer that his temper on the campaign trail is “an absolute controlled anger” that shows his passion about important issues.
"I'm angry about the fact that taxpayers were being ripped off in New Jersey,” Christie told Lauer. “I'm angry about the fact that our urban kids can't get a good education. I'm angry about those things, you're darn right I am. And I think America wants someone who's willing to fight for that.”
The New Jersey Republican spoke with Lauer in an interview that aired Tuesday on Nightly News, the same day Christie launched his campaign in the gymnasium of his old high school in Livingston.
Lauer asked Christie about his temperament and the New Jersey Republican said he’s lost his temper “very few times” during his governorship and that his anger remains controlled “almost all the time.”
Christie said he has become more reflective in the wake of the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal last fall due to the “battering and badgering” he says he received from the media and the “stress of having something bad happen on your watch.”
Christie was never implicated in the scandal, but two of his top aides were arrested in the aftermath.
He said he didn’t run in 2012 because he didn’t feel like he was ready for the job, but now he has “a little more wear in the tires” and “a little more wisdom.”
“I think that’s great for anybody that’s going to be president of the United States,” Christie said.
Part two of Lauer's interview with Christie will air Wednesday, July 1, on TODAY.