Gov. Chris Christie believes Donald Trump is ready to run a national campaign as he moves closer to formally clinching the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential race.

Just days after Trump announced the firing of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, the New Jersey governor said on New Jersey 101.5's Ask the Governor program Wednesday that the business mogul is prepared to face-off against Hillary Clinton in November.

"He's already run a national campaign, let's remember, and won 38 out of 50 states against 16 opponents, yours truly being one of them. He went up against the Bush machine that spent over $200 million," Christie said. "This guy has been tested. That was a very deep and talented Republican field."

The governor, who has been selected to lead Trump's transition team if he's elected, says he has not been asked to help Trump select a team to run his campaign, but he has confidence in political operative Paul Manafort, who has taken on the role as campaign manager.

"I have nothing but respect for Paul," said Christie, who believes Trump will have "a few good weeks" leading up to the upcoming Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

"I think he will have a convention like no one has ever seen before. It will be a Donald J. Trump production, and I'm sure it will be quite something," Christie said.

When asked by host Eric Scott if he thinks Trump is now "playing catch up" because Clinton has money and and established infrastructure in place for her campaign, Christie said the Democrat "needs every bit of it."

"With her tired, worn-out liberal ideas and the personification of Washington insider, she's going to need every one of those 700 people in Brooklyn to be working to give her a chance," Christie said. "I am absolutely convinced that Donald Trump, if he runs a good campaign — which I believe he will — will be the 45th President of the United States."

On Trump's campaign being unconventional, Christie said other candidates have run unconventional campaigns well and "everybody runs a campaign a little bit differently than everyone else."

"The American people think the country is going in the wrong direction. The American people are generally not happy with Barack Obama's policies and Hillary Clinton is going to ask them to double down on those policies. She's going to execute policies somewhere between Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders, somewhere between the most liberal president we've ever had, and a socialist. I just don't know if the American people are gonna buy that as an option."

Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at toniann.antonelli@townsquaremedia.com, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.

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