While in New Hampshire seeking to boost his presidential prospects, Gov. Christie said Friday that he did not consider himself wealthy.
“No, I don’t,” he told a reporter. The remarks were broadcast and posted online by NJ.com. “I don’t consider myself a wealthy man. Wealth is defined in a whole bunch of different ways.”
Christie and his wife, Mary Pat Christie, reported nearly $698,838 in income in 2013. About $475,000 of that income came from Angelo, Gordon & Co., an investment firm where Mary Pat Christie is a managing director.
Gov. Christie covered broad ground over the last two days in New Hampshire, where he attacked prospective rivals, promised to focus on policy ideas, and name-dropped famous friends. Some of the recurring themes from his effort this week to gain traction in the presidential race:
Targeting rivals: Christie wasn’t combative during his first New Hampshire town-hall meeting, but he criticized Republican opponents this week, including in a round of interviews with local and national media. When conservative radio host Laura Ingraham asked him Wednesday about “the Bush approach to foreign policy and domestic policy,” Christie said: “I’d like to see what Jeb Bush has to say about these things. He’s certainly got a father and brother who have a record.”
He added that “the one speech” the former Florida governor had “given so far, I thought was rather general.”
Gov. Christie says he would “crack down” on states that have legalized marijuana if he were elected president.
Under federal law, marijuana is classified as an illegal Schedule I drug. But in recent years, Colorado and Washington legalized the sale and possession of pot for recreational use. The states collect taxes on sales.
The Obama administration has taken a hands-off approach in those states, allowing them to experiment with legalization.
When Gov. Christie was growing up, he says, Sunday was often pasta night. His mother, who did the cooking, made the gravy during the day.
Some might call that sauce. “When a Sicilian woman is making it, it’s gravy,” Christie says, in a show that airs Wednesday on New Jersey Public Television.
The debut of "Pasta and Politics" features an apron-wearing Christie talking about cooking -- he says he did a lot when he was first married -- and his job while he helps host Nick Acocella make rigatoni Bolognese.
Gov. Christie will hold two town-hall-style events during visits next week to the early presidential primary state of New Hampshire.
The events are part of what Christie’s team has dubbed a “Tell It Like It Is” tour, according to his political action committee’s website. In addition to an event advertised for April 15, a spokeswoman for the committee said another town hall would take place April 17.
Christie is slated to join other prospective Republican 2016 presidential candidates at a “leadership summit” in New Hampshire April 17-18. He will also be visiting the state April 14, though details of his schedule have not been released.
Gov. Christie will return to New Hampshire next month, joining other prospective Republican 2016 candidates – and at least one confirmed – at a “leadership summit” in the state that hosts the first-in-the-nation presidential primary.
Christie on Tuesday confirmed his attendance at the April 17-18 event, said a spokesman for the New Hampshire Republican State Committee.
It marks Christie’s second announced trip to New Hampshire this year, after speaking at a Republican event there in February. The April event is expected to feature more than two dozen speakers, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
Gov. Christie’s supporters have formed a super PAC that can accept unlimited donations in advance of an anticipated presidential campaign, an announcement that follows unfavorable poll numbers about the New Jersey governor’s 2016 chances.
The super PAC, America Leads, was started by Phil Cox, the former executive director of the Republican Governors Association. Cox worked with Christie while the governor was chairman of the RGA last year.
“I’ve established this super PAC because it’s time for America to lead again, and I believe Gov. Christie is exactly the kind of strong leader we need at this critical point in our nation’s history,” Cox said Thursday. “He’s provided effective, conservative leadership in a deep blue state, bringing people together to solve difficult problems and get results. That’s exactly the kind of leadership we need in America today, and we hope he decides to run.”
As Gov. Christie courts Republicans across the country -- most recently in Iowa -- a new poll suggests he faces an uphill battle.
More than half -- 57 percent -- of Republican primary voters surveyed in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Monday could not see themselves supporting Christie for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, compared to 32 percent who could.
That gap placed Christie behind other well-known prospective Republican candidates in the poll, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Of Republicans surveyed, 49 percent could see themselves supporting Bush, while 42 percent could not.