At a press conference Thursday, embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie insisted repeatedly that he will not be abandoning his job in order to be a full-time surrogate for Donald Trump, whom he endorsed for president after dropping out of the race himself several weeks ago. “I am not a full-time surrogate for Donald Trump,” Christie said. “I don’t have a title or a position in the campaign. I am an endorser of Donald Trump. … I have no current plans to go out on the road with him again, but I’m sure I will at some point do so.”
Christie also clarified what mood he was in on Tuesday night when he was on stage with Trump, whom he described as a friend of 14 years: “No, I wasn’t being held hostage. No, I wasn’t standing up there thinking, ‘Oh my God, what have I done?’ ” Christie said, in reference to widespread ridicule of the vacant eyes he wore on his face as Trump addressed reporters in the wake of his Super Tuesday victory. He elaborated: “I wasn’t upset, I wasn’t angry, I wasn’t despondent. I wasn’t anything other than happy about how well we had done that night.”
Christie also took the opportunity to jab the seven New Jersey newspapers that called on him to resign this week. “I am not shocked that the Star-Ledger editorial page or the Gannett editorial page—none of which has ever supported … my existence, would call on me to resign. They’re looking for some way to be relevant as their circulation declines, as their readership declines, and the only way to do that is to set themselves on fire.”
Asked whether he was concerned about his approval ratings, which recently hit their lowest point since the start of his first term, Christie pledged to focus on his duties as governor for the rest of his second term. “I’m gonna do my job,” he said. “I’m gonna come to work and do my job, and I’m gonna do it hard.”
Over and over again during the extended press conference, Christie reaffirmed his enthusiasm for Trump, emphasizing that he was supporting him not only because he thinks he has the best chance of defeating Hillary Clinton, but because “he’s the best remaining candidate on the stage.” Asked about Trump’s record of racist remarks and his hesitant disavowal of former KKK grand wizard David Duke, Christie cited his friendship with Trump. “I know Donald Trump and he’s not a bigot,” Christie said.
Finally, Christie assured the assembled reporters that his endorsement of Trump had nothing to do with any possible job he might get in a Trump administration. “Chris Christie is not interviewing or considering any other public job,” Christie said. “That’s not been part of my discussions with Mr. Trump in the lead up to my endorsement.” In reference to his post-governorship life, he added: “I’m going to be considering, I suspect, a lot of different offers, both private sector and public sector and I’ll pick the one I think is best for me and my family.”