Gov. Christie has team investigating 2012 bid

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie reportedly is close to a decision about possibly entering the Republican presidential race.

CBS News correspondent Whit Johnson reports that he may not have a lot of time to make up his mind.

On Sunday morning, Chris Christie wasn't dropping any hints. After months of repeated denials - "what do i have to do short of suicide to convince people I'm not running," he once said - the New Jersey Governor is now reconsidering, and has a team investigating a presidential run.

The first Republican caucus could be less than 100 days away, leaving little time to hire staff, raise money, and develop an effective strategy.

"I think he's done a great job as governor. I think he'd be a very viable candidate," Sen. John McCain said on CBS' Face the Nation.

Special Section: Campaign 2012

With the absence of a clear front-runner, prominent Republicans say there's still time for Christie to get in.

"I don't think it is too late for a candidate with his stature to decide to run," said Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

But Christie's moderate views on climate change, gun control and immigration might be a tough sell to more conservative Republicans.

"I think that is absolutely a liability for him if he gets in the race," said GOP presidential contender Herman Cain.

Then there's the weight issue.

"I`ve struggled with my weight for 30 years. And it`s a struggle," said Christie.

Some liberal columnists have taken it to another level saying things like: "He is just too fat" to be president; and he should: "Eat a salad and take a walk."

CBS News political contributor Scott Conroy said, for Christie, it's not a matter of image, it's matter of endurance.

"I think he really has to decide whether he is fit enough to do it and whether he has the energy to do it," Conroy said.

But should Christie decide to run, his biggest obstacle may be money. He would need to raise tens of millions of dollars in the next three months. Sources tell CBS News, a final decision is expected this week.

  • Whit Johnson

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