Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., was officially elected chairman of the Republican Governors Association (RGA) Thursday and promised to use his new post to help his colleagues rather than to advance his own political career.
"My job is to go out there and elect and re-elect Republican governors, and that is going to be my sole focus over the next 11 months," Christie said fromt the RGA conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., the Associated Press reports. He said Republican leaders "start thinking about 2016 at our own peril, or at worse at the peril of our own colleagues."
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As one of the most high-profile governors in the country, Christie should be effective at raising money in support of the 22 GOP governors up for re-election in 2014.
Building connections with Republicans across the nation will also help Christie should he decide to run for president in 2016. Noting that he won his own re-election campaign just weeks ago, Christie stressed to the AP, "2016 is a long way away.”
Christie invited former President George W. Bush to join some of the governors for lunch Thursday and reportedly talked about his experiences as president and governor of Texas. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer told reporters that Mr. Bush said governorships are “breeding grounds for the president’s office because we govern and we know about policy.”