Former Gov. Tom Kean (R) is considering both Republicans and Democrats as the next president in what he considers one of the most important races of his lifetime.

Former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

In an interview on a podcast called The Backgrounder, the 80-year-old Kean told host Kevin Brubaker he continues to support Gov. Chris Christie, who considers Kean a mentor — but said he is not endorsing anyone right away.

"There's a lot of candidates out there," said Kean. The ex-governor said at his age, he doesn't care whether a candidate is a Democrat or Republican but "the best human being possible."

"It's hard to think of a time in my lifetime when a presidency was as important last it is going to be  in the next couple of years," the 48th governor of New Jersey said. "We are on a bad path in this country."

Christie "has done some very good things," in Kean's estimation, but he has "got some big problems he has got to solve and I am not sure you can do it and run for president ... that's a problem."

Kean's biggest priority for New Jersey, he said, is its failing Transportation Trust Fund. Kean believes that if no one comes up with a solution within the next two years the state will be fiscally insolvent and "we're not going to be able to attract jobs."

Kean said he has always liked Republican front runner Donald Trump and described him as "bright" and "man of kindness." Kean recalled getting to know Trump as he opened up his first Atlantic City casino during his administration and owned the now defunct New Jersey Generals of the USFL.

"He's been a friend of mine for a long time" says Kean.

"I don't quite agree with him on a lot of stuff," Kean said. "Do I agree with him on other stuff? Absolutely." Kean said Trump is "saying some things that make sense" and advises the rest of the Republican presidential field to listen to him.