Christie on Iraq: US Needs Energy Independence
He insists no decision has been made about running for President in 2016, but New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is traveling all over the country these days, meeting with GOP movers and shakers while fundraising for the Republican Governor's Association.
Christie is also speaking out more frequently on national and international issues. Asked Monday night about the possibility of gas prices shooting higher because of unrest in Iraq, and what should be done to prevent it, New Jersey's governor said the instability in the Middle East is the strongest argument for the continued pursuit of energy independence for the North American continent.
Speaking on Townsquare Media's Ask The Governor program, Christie said: "We now have the ability to do that. Why isn't the President building the XL pipeline? Why aren't we doing even further exploration of the natural gas reserves we have, a hundred year supply for this country. Why aren't we working more with Mexico to open up that market and get more of the oil that the Mexicans have, to be able to make our entire continent more energy independent - that's what we should be focused on and doing."
If those steps were being taken, Christie said, it would not matter, from an energy perspective, what's happening in other parts of the world.
"We may care about other parts of the world for humanitarian reasons, for geopolitical reasons," said Christie, "but we wouldn't be motivated at all by energy concerns, because we'd have energy independence. That was a pipe dream when you and I were kids, that is now obtainable if the president would just do what he should be doing in the best interests of the country."
Many political observers believe Christie, who is serving as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, is looking to rehabilitate his image, after seeing his approval numbers plummet earlier this year due to the George Washington Bridge lane closing scandal.
No direct link between the governor and Bridgegate has ever been established, but a member of his inner circle and a top Port Authority appointee are believed to have orchestrated the scheme as a pay-back for the mayor of Fort Lee not backing Christie's re-election bid last year.
Former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton, considered the Democratic Presidential front-runner, is also traveling around the country this summer on a national book signing tour. She, like Christie, insists she's made no decision about running for the White House in 2016.