New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie met with major GOP donors urging him to run for president on Tuesday night, but he says he remains steadfast that he will not enter the race in 2012.
The Republican has continuously brushed aside talk of a possible bid for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination - but that hasn't stopped some high-profile donors and rank-and-file Republicans from pushing him to enter the race. And a Tuesday meeting with donors led by billionaire venture capitalist and Republican donor Ken Langone fueled yet more talk.
At a statehouse press conference following the meeting, however, Christie said his plans hadn't changed.
"There are some people who believe I should leave this job and go to another one," Christie told reporters. "I said nothing different to [Langone] than I've said to other folks in the past."
"This is not a new acquaintance," Christie continued. "He wanted me to sit down and talk and listen to him. I'm always happy to sit and listen to people who are smarter than me, and I think Ken falls into that category. So I could listen to him but I said nothing different to him today than I've said to all of you and everybody else."
Langone, a co-founder of The Home Depot who backed former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani in his 2008 presidential bid, has in recent years made significant donations to the Republican party nationwide. According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, he donated $2,000 to Christie's 2008 gubernatorial campaign, and in 2010 contributed $25,000 to the New Jersey State Republican committee.
According to Politico, Christie told those in the meeting that while he would not run in 2012 because of the concerns about his family, a commitment to serving out his term as governor and questions about his ability to win. He reportedly left some room for speculation about openness to a 2016 bid.
Christie reportedly will travel to Iowa -- the key first-in-the-nation voting state -- next week to speak on behalf of Rep. Steve King.