Thanks for all the excellent question ideas for the Christie press conference earlier. Please don't steal my job! I have a few answers for you, plus some other goodies.
- I asked the gov why he's been making so many national TV appearances in the last couple of weeks ("Today" show, "Face The Nation," MSNBC, Fox News Channel, etc.), since he says he has no immediate aspirations for the higest office in the land.
We have a great story to tell in New Jersey about what we're doing, and you're darn right I think it helps New Jersey to be out there telling a great story, because otherwise the national media is out there focusing on the "Jersey Shore" and "The Real Housewives of New Jersey." I like to try to counter-balance that a little bit with the good things about our state....if you go on and tell a great story about the state you govern to millions of people on network television, I think that's a good thing for the state.
As for the story in the National Review Online this week that quotes him saying he thinks he could beat Obama, Christie said:
It doesn't matter to me whether you think I can win or lose the presidential election, that's not a reason to run...The context of the comments were, 'They say well, you can win, so why don't you run?" And my response was, "I've had plenty of people call me offering to map out for me how I can win. My response is you don't need to explain that to me, I understand that, I already know that. You're misunderstanding me. I don't want to do it....You might win and not be ready. That's not good for me, that's not good for the country.
- We could hear thousands of cops and firefighters screaming outside the Statehouse calling for Christie's head as he spoke to reporters. His response: “Would they rather enrich themselves and lay off their colleagues, or preserve their colleagues’ jobs and sacrifice along with everybody else in the state? That’s their choice. They’ve made their choice in Camden, where they saw 40-plus percent of the police force be laid off.” [More on this in tomorrow's Inquirer and Philly.com]
- The gov dropped a major report on educational reform. It calls for teacher and principal evaluations. Christie said that only 17 tenured teachers have been fired over incompetence in the last decade in New Jersey. “Is there anyone in the state who really believes there’s only 17 incompetent teachers in the state of New Jersey?” he asked. Christie said he cares more about students in bad districts than the unions do. “These people are a joke,” he said of union leadership. [More on this in tomorrow's Inquirer and Philly.com]
- The governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn, is a "disaster." The pair have been feuding over which state has a better business environment.
- No internet gambling in New Jersey. At least not the legal kind. A bill that would have allowed casinos in Atlantic City to allow computer wagering was vetoed by the governor today.