Hardball with Chris Matthews, 5/7/13, 5:58 PM ET

Matthews: Gov. Chris Christie would be a credible candidate in 2016

Chris Matthews shares his thoughts on the possibility of Gov. Chris Christie running for president and says he thinks Christie is a credible candidate who...

Surgery or no, Christie looks like he’s gearing up for 2016

Updated

Let me finish tonight with this.

America has governed itself best when it has two presidential candidates who can credibly lead the country.

It has not done so well when one party gives up the center and plunges off into the extremes.

We saw this with Goldwater in ‘64 and McGovern in ‘72. In each case we were left with no choice on election day - I’m speaking of the country at large - and left with a presidency that lacked an earned connection with the American people. One led us to Vietnam, the other to Watergate.

It’s far better to have elections when both candidates were credible.

Let me be honest, I like it that way. I like to know that, if a candidate I start the campaign with ends up totally disappointing me I have an option in November, someone I’d prefer to see president.

Chris Christie looks like he’s gearing up to make a run. Whether he is or not, he conforms to my notion of a credible candidate. It’s his political value system I suppose. He made clear last year that he’s willing to work with the other party to get things done.

So maybe the governor of New Jersey is getting in shape to run - or maybe just to improve his health. In any case, it will be good to have him as a prospect for 2016, if only because he’s someone many people on both sides of the political middle can imagine voting for.

Surgery or no, Christie looks like he's gearing up for 2016

Updated