January 08, 2018

Christie says he would have won presidency if Trump hadn't run

Politics Elections
Christie Trump Craig Rubadoux/Florida Today via USA TODAY NETWORK

Then-Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump shakes hands with New Jersey governor Chris Christie as Super Tuesday presidential primary election results come in at the White and Gold room at Mar-a-Lago on March 1, 2016.

In his final days in office, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is reflecting on many things: His perceived accomplishments as governor, his low poll numbers and what he plans on doing next.

He's also looking back on the big job he believes was his for the taking, if it wasn't for an even more brash and controversial candidate.

In a wide-ranging interview with Matt Arco of NJ.com published Sunday, Christie touched on a number of topics, including his unsuccessful run for president in 2016.

Christie dropped out of the race in February 2016. He shocked political observers by quickly turning around and endorsing Donald Trump, who would go on to win the Republican nomination and the presidency.

The governor was at one point considered a potential vice-presidential pick, and briefly headed Trump's transition team before being dumped from the position.

In a world where Trump never decided to run, however, it would have been Christie mulling over possible VP candidates and deciding on a transition team. Per Arco's interview:

Christie said he has no doubt he would have won if not for the blunt-talking Trump's decision to run.

"It's incredibly frustrating to think to yourself, 'Wow, if this guy were not in the race, we'd win this thing,'" Christie said, reflecting on some internal polling from the campaign. "And I absolutely believe if Trump had not gotten into the race I think we would have won."

Christie will officially leave the governor's office on Jan. 16 when his replacement, Democrat Phil Murphy, is sworn in. Arco's interview gets Christie to dish on a number of topics before he leaves the job, and you can read the whole thing here.