Christie: ‘Absolutely no intention’ of resigning
Gov. Chris Christie says he has “absolutely no intention” of resigning, as was suggested by editorial boards of seven New Jersey newspapers after he hit the campaign trail for his former rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump.
“No, of course not,” Christie said.
At a Statehouse news conference that extended nearly two hours, seemingly intended to exhaust and rebut critics after he didn’t take questions Monday that weren’t related to his nominee to the Supreme Court, Christie said his time and travel boosting Trump won’t take him out of New Jersey much.
He said he has been in New Jersey for 19 of the 22 days since he ended his presidential campaign. The other days included trips to six states with Trump.
“Will there be occasions that I’ll go out on the campaign trail for Donald Trump? Yeah. But that will be on occasion,” Christie said. “It will be nothing like when I was chairman of the (Republican Governors Association), when I had 36 races across the country, or when I was running for president myself.”
Christie will travel next week for a vacation with his wife, Mary Pat, for their 30th wedding anniversary, which is Tuesday. They will be joined by their oldest daughter, Sarah. The governor said he’s sure he will go on the road again with Trump at some point but has no current plans to do so.
“Now let me be really clear. I am not a full-time surrogate for Donald Trump. I don’t have a title or a position in the Trump campaign. I am an endorser of Donald Trump.”
Christie said that should calm Republican lawmakers – Sens. Kip Bateman and Jennifer Beck and Assembly members Jack Ciattarelli and Amy Handlin – who have said that he needs to decide between traveling for Trump or staying on as governor.
Christie took a swing at the newspapers while shrugging off the calls by their editorial boards for him to resign. If he doesn't step down, the Gannett editorial added, voters should mount a recall effort.
“I am not shocked that the Star-Ledger editorial page or the Gannett editorial page, none of which have ever supported me, my policies or my existence, would call on me now to resign,” said Christie.
“They’re trying to find some way to be relevant as their circulations decline, as their readership declines,” Christie said. “They’re trying to be relevant, and the only way to do that is to set themselves on fire, which is what they did over the last two days.”
Both the Star-Ledger and the Asbury Park Press, the largest of Gannett’s six newspapers in New Jersey, endorsed Christie for re-election in 2013.
Michael Symons has covered the Statehouse since 2000. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @MichaelSymons_ on Twitter.