New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is insisting that his wife Mary Pat’s recent decision to step down from her high-powered Wall Street job doesn’t necessarily indicate that he will run for president in 2016.“She’s been thinking about this for a while,” the Republican said Monday evening on his monthly “Ask the Governor” radio show on New Jersey 101.5 FM. He acknowledged that the “demands of our life have become different, and I’ve become less able to be involved in a lot of the stuff too, because of you know, all the demands of my job.”
Mary Pat Christie, 51, announced last week that she was leaving her job as a managing director at Angelo, Gordon & Co, an investment firm in New York City. The move created buzz that it was because Christie was preparing to officially launch his bid for the Oval Office.
Christie’s wife – who accompanied the governor on his high-profile trip to the early voting state of New Hampshire earlier this month and frequently stopped to chat with potential voters – has also said that the decision to leave her job had more to do with her wanting to spend time with her family. “I’m spending a lot of time with my children and my husband and really enjoying the opportunity,” Mary Pat told The Record.
Since Christie has become governor, Mary Pat has been the family’s primary breadwinner. According to the couple’s 2014 tax returns, she earned about $500,000 of their total $700,000 income – placing them in the top 1% of earners in America.
During the radio program, the governor was asked about recent, controversial comments he made in New Hampshire, saying he didn’t consider himself wealthy. Christie double downed on Monday, pointing to, among other expenses, $173,000 worth of tuition he pays for his children to go to school.
“I don’t feel wealthy. Mary Pat and I have done well over our lives. We’ve worked very hard to get there. I think there are a lot of people, significantly better off than me and Mary Pat and there are a lot of people who are not as well off as we are. I certainly was not complaining, but they asked me if I feel wealthy. I don’t feel that way.”
Christie, whose job approval rating among Garden State voters recently hit an all-time low of 38%, has said he will not make a decision on whether or not he’ll try to win the GOP presidential nomination until late spring or early summer.