New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) gestures during an onstage interview at the 2014 Peterson Foundation Fiscal Summit in Washington on May 14, 2014.
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Chris Christie admits interest in 2016 presidential bid


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gave reporters the clearest indication yet that he may run for the White House in 2016, admitting at a Washington conference that he is, in fact, thinking about it.

CBS News veteran Bob Schieffer asked the Republican governor point-blank if he was thinking about running, and when he would decide for sure. Answering succinctly, Christie replied, “Yes, and later.”

The governor also spoke about the George Washington Bridge scandal that has plagued his office for months. He stated that months later, “there hasn’t been one suggestion that I knew anything” about the plan to create traffic gridlock in Fort Lee, New Jersey. 

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Christie also said he doesn’t think this will have any impact on his future political ambitions “because I didn’t do anything.”

“I’m not the first chief executive who had someone on their staff do something they didn’t know something about.” The governor continued, “I don’t think that would hurt anybody’s career, and it’s not going to hurt mine.” Christie also said that the George Washington Bridge lane closures would end up being “a footnote” in his career.

Governor Christie also spoke warmly about a potential Republican rival for 2016, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, calling him a close friend. But Christie says he wouldn’t enjoy running against someone he considers a friend before adding, “You like to run against people you don’t like. It’s easier.”

Before ending his remarks, Christie also gave us what could be a preview slogan of a potential 2016 campaign. Speaking about the issue of raising the minimum wage – something he has supported doing incrementally in New Jersey in the past – Christie said, “The problem we have in this country is not income inequality. It’s opportunity inequality.”