Chris Christie is running for president in the 2016 election, according to just about every political pundit in the United States. The Republican New Jersey governor, who is as popular as the Garden State's rock legend Bruce Springsteen, is serving his second four-year term as governor after having won re-election in 2013.
He is by far the most visible and most popular Republican figure in American politics, and he's raising his profile by accepting invitations to some of the most important conservative functions in the land.
So, going by appearances, Christie is running for president in 2016.
Christie himself, however, has played coy about his political aspirations on the federal level. He won't really say what he's thinking, and he seems to relish being asked about his plans.
So what has he said about 2016?
Here's a look at some of the most telling Chris Christie quotes on running for president in 2016:
In October 2013, Christie declined to rule out a run for president in 2016 at a political debate against Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono:
“They all said I was going to do it in 2012. I said I wouldn’t, and I didn’t. And the fact is, after 2017, I am going to be looking for a new job anyway. So, as we go forward I am going to continue to do my job the best way I possibly can. And I am not going to declare tonight, (moderator) Kristine (Johnson), for you or for anybody else that I am or am not running for president. You know what, the people out there in New Jersey don’t expect me to. What they expect me to do is do my job.”
In November 2013, after winning re-election to governor, Christie was asked whether addressing persistent questions about his future plans was burdensome. He said no, that he was flattered. Christie appeared convincing:
“I don’t see it as a burden, either. You’ve got to have a huge ego to say, ‘Oh, please, it’s such a burden for you to be speculating about me being the leader of the free world, stop, I’m so burdened.’ That’s a pretty huge ego to be complaining about that. It’s complimentary. It’s flattering, and I have no problem with it. But I have to be really clear about this, I have a job to do. I got re-elected to do a job. I’m not going to worry about all this other stuff.”
In August 2013, while the Republicans were still trying to figure out what went wrong in Mitt Romney's failed bid to unseat President Barack Obama in the 2012 election, Christie delivered a rousing defense of the party and criticized elements of the GOP he believed were tearing the party apart or alienating it from voters.
Christie's speech was perceived to be an attempt to lay the groundwork for a 2016 campaign, a sort of precursor to his campaign platform:
Related: Republican Party Reform Plan of 2013
“We are not a debating society. We are a political operation that needs to win. ... See I’m in this business to win ... I’m in it to win. I think that we have some folks who believe that our job is to be college professors. College professors are fine I guess. Being a college professor is — they basically spout out ideas but nobody ever does anything about them. For our ideas to matter we have to win. Because if we don’t win, we don’t govern. And if we don’t govern, all we do is shout into the wind.”
But perhaps the most telling Chris Christie quotes were those he delivered after winning re-election in 2013, when he blamed Congress and the White House for being unable to fix many of the problems Americans face, a move many pundits saw as the launch of his 2016 campaign:
"I know that tonight, a dispirited America, angry with their dysfunctional government in Washington, looks to New Jersey to say, 'Is what I think really happening? Are people really coming together? Are we really working, African American, Hispanics, suburbanites and city dwellers, farmers and teachers. Are we really all working together?' If we can do this in Trenton, New Jersey, maybe the folks in Washington, D.C. should tune in their TVs right now."