In a sign that he may be thinking about a potential 2016 presidential run, New Jersey governor Chris Christie said New Jersey voters would help him “redefine” the Republican party if they reelect him this year.
Speaking at Mount Holly on Saturday, he said Republicans in New Jersey had an “opportunity” and an “obligation” to do so after “our national party suffered a big defeat last November.”
“You’re going to help me do that… redefine this party for the whole country,” he said in remarks captured by SaveJersey.com.
Christie is up for reelection this year in a race that is unlikely to be competitive. He first won in 2009, a year after Obama won the presidential election in 2008; some pundits, like Democrat James Carville, were predicting Democrats would rule for the next forty years.
Republican Bob McDonnell also won Virginia’s gubernatorial contest that year, but McDonnell is not up for reelection because Virgina’s governors are barred from serving consecutive terms.
Some conservatives have soured on the governor, especially after he embraced Obama when the president visited New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy and supported the pork-laden Sandy Relief bill. Christie also lashed out against Republicans that opposed the bill. The New Jersey governor has also supported more gun control measures in a state that already has restrictive gun laws and decided to accept federal funds for Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion even after he had previously said New Jersey did not need it.